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Big two lock horns

The race to take market share in the fast-growing area of credit default swap indices is gathering pace.

At the beginning of last month, European player iBoxx unveiled plans for iBoxx Diversified, using 100 equally referenced entities from 31 Moody's industry sectors. This will bring up to three the number of iBoxx credit-linked note indices it offers as it will join the existing iBoxx 100 and Corporate Notes, launched in February.

It also announced four new market makers - SG, Citigroup, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Barclays Capital - to join founders ABN Amro and Deutsche Bank.

Global rival Trac-X, the joint venture between Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, then announced the arrival of Barclays Capital and Nomura as market makers, joining Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, UBS, Credit Suisse First Boston and BNP Paribas.

Lisa Watkinson, global product manager for flow CDS and credit indexation at Morgan Stanley, says Trac-X also rolled out another new index last month - Trac-X Australia. This joins Trac-X Europe, made up of 100 names in the European CDS market; Trac-X North America, 100 names in the US CDS market; Trac-X High Yield, a pool of 100 high-yield names; Trac-X Japan, which references 50 investment-grade Japanese credits; and Trac-X Emerging markets, based on emerging market sovereign credits.

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