Credit default swap
:
Two parties enter into an agreement whereby one party pays the other a fixed periodic coupon for the specified life of the agreement. The other party makes no payments unless a specified credit event occurs. Credit events are typically defined to include a material default, bankruptcy or debt restructuring for a specified reference asset. If such a credit event occurs, the party makes a payment to the first party, and the swap then terminates.

Another way of putting it:
The buyer of a credit swap receives credit protection, whereas the seller of the swap guarantees the credit worthiness of the product. By doing this, the risk of default is transferred from the holder of the fixed income security to the seller of the swap.

For example, the buyer of a credit swap will be entitled to the par value of the bond by the seller of the swap, should the bond default in its coupon payments.

Use of CDS by commercial banks
Commercial banks use credit default swaps to manage the credit risk associated with making large loans to their corporate customers. If a borrower defaults on a loan or another predefined credit event occurs, the counterparty providing the insurance purchases the defaulted asset.

Credit default swaps are a very common form of Credit Derivative. The objective in many credit derivatives, including default swaps, is to split market risk from credit risk; doing so effectively reduces a bank’s exposure and its risk of loss.

A CDS is often used like an insurance policy, or hedge for the holder of debt . The typical term of a CDS contract is five years, although being an OTC product almost any maturity is possible.

An Example A fund has invested Rs 10 croreds worth of a 5 year bond issued by Risky Corporation. In order to manage their risk of losing money if Risky Corporation defaults on its debt, the fund buys a CDS from Derivative Bank for a notional amount of Rs.10 crores which trades at 200 basis points. In return for this credit protection, the fund pays 2% of 10 crores (Rs. 200,000) in quarterly installments of Rs. 50,000 to Derivative Bank. If Risky Corporation does not default on its bond payments, the fund makes quarterly payments to Derivative Bank for 5 years and receives its 10 crores loan back after 5 years from the Risky Corporation. Though the protection payments reduce investment returns for the fund, its risk of loss in a default scenario is eliminated. If Risky Corporation defaults on its debt 3 years into the CDS contract then the premium payments would stop and Derivative Bank would ensure that the fund is refunded for its loss of Rs. 10 crores Another scenario would be if Risky Corporation’s credit profile improved dramatically or it is acquired by a stronger company after 3 years, the pension fund could effectively cancel or reduce its original CDS position by selling the remaining two years of credit protection in the market.

P.S. This is not a technical note but just to give you an idea and introduction as how flexible derivatives can be !!!!

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