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Markit Plots New Regional Indices

Markit is looking to launch credit derivative indices in new markets in the New Year. Regions of interest include Latin America, Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, said Stephan Flagel, managing director and head of indices in London, adding it is too early to say which will come first. "We are working with dealers to identify new markets, and hoping we will come up with something and launch towards the end of the first quarter or early second...We’re just waiting to see how the market develops."

In America, Markit has the CDX family of indices. In Europe it has the iTraxx and in Asia it has the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan and the iTraxx Japan. In May this year, it launched the MCDX index—an index referencing municipal bond credit defaults swaps. The strategy called for launching another by year-end, but the credit crisis and the debate on clearing CDS derailed those plans. "Had the market been healthy enough, we would have been able to do this by the end of this quarter," said Flagel. "At the moment, it’s not really liquid enough in single names in other regions than what we already cover. Most dealers are less interested in launches—[we’re] making sure that everyone has their positions hedged with the end of the year coming."

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