Structured Credit Investor SCI’s 5th Annual Capital Relief Trades Seminar 17 October 2019, London


Indices can be structured on any collection of underlying structured credit and ABS instruments and traded or utilised bilaterally. Such activity is typically facilitated through the use of derivatives. A growing area of focus surrounds total return swaps or TRS (ie a swap of cashflows of both interest and capital) on an agreed index or basket of underlying credit or loan instruments. However, the greatest volume of structured credit index activity is in the standardised IHS Markit CDX and iTraxx CDS indices. Unlike, say, an equity index, the CDX and iTraxx indices are not notional indices created with reference to the underlying cash market, they are portfolios of actively traded credit default swaps or CDS. As a result, the indices are themselves tradable. The standardised index product set includes: iTraxx Europe, iTraxx Europe Crossover, iTraxx Europe HiVol, CDX.NA.IG, CDX.NA.HY, CDX.NA.IG.HVOL, CDX.EM, CDX.EM.DIVERSIFIED, iTraxx Japan and iTraxx Asia ex-Japan. In addition, there are indices covering other asset classes: ABX (ABS of US home equity loans), CMBX (commercial mortgage-backed securities), LevX Senior and LevX Subordinated (European leveraged loans) and LCDX (US leveraged loans).