Feb 132010

Dubai debt concerns re-emerged Friday as the cost of protection against a default by the Persian Gulf emirate climbed to the highest level since November, according to data provider Markit.

The price of credit default swaps on Dubai government debt jumped to 630 basis points on Friday, up from 592 on Thursday, Markit data show. These CDS prices were last above the 630-point mark on Nov. 27, when they traded at 634 basis points.

Late last November, investors were concerned that state-owned conglomerate Dubai World and its Nahkeel property-development unit couldn’t meet imminent debt obligations. Dubai World said at the time that it wouldn’t pay interest until May as it sought to reorganize more than $20 billion of debt.

CDS prices dropped after Abu Dhabi lent Dubai $10 billion to ease the cash crunch. Read about the bailout.

However, broader sovereign-debt concerns have increased in recent weeks as Greece struggles with a large fiscal deficit and surging borrowing costs. Read about Greece’s problems.

Credit-default swaps are a common type of derivative contract that, as the name implies, pay out in the event of default. When prices for credit-default swaps rise, that suggests investors are more worried and more willing to pay up for protection against defaults.

CDS quoted at 630 basis points means an investor buying $10 million worth of protection for five years must pay $630,000 a year.

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