Markit has launched an independent, daily consensus spread service for credit default swaps (CDS) referencing asset backed securities (ABS) (ABCDS). Markit hopes the service will increase transparency and foster growth in the structured finance markets. It provides independent spreads for mark-to-market, research and valuation purposes. The service will help satisfy the accounting requirements of the Financial Accounting Standards (FAS) 157, which requires a market-based measurement in order to recognise trading book profit and loss. FAS 157 will come into full effect in November this year. The new spread service receives daily feeds from the leading market makers’ books of record. Spreads are cleaned and validated overnight before publication the following morning. A minimum of three contributions is required for a mark to be published, to ensure only accurate mid-point composite spreads are delivered. Clients of the service can view and analyse spread changes over a day, week or month and sort data by rating, issuer, sector or region. The service covers the two largest asset classes: residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) and commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS).
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