Against the background of greater regulatory scrutiny of firms’ risk management practices, Fitch Solutions has incorporated new risk and pricing benchmarks into its Fitch Risk and Performance Platform, which was launched in June last year. Jonathan Di Giambattista, senior director at the vendor, indicates the benchmarks, which can be visualised via a new product feature called the Dashboard, are aimed at improving transparency in the notoriously opaque credit default swap (CDS) market.
Di Giambattista explains how the Dashboard will assist firms in this endeavour: “Credit market participants want to know whether an entity’s spread level is being driven by sector concerns or credit quality concerns specific to that entity. By using the pricing benchmarks contained in the Dashboard, market participants can visualise an entity’s spreads in the context of both the total market and similarly rated peers in the same sector, thereby improving decision making of both portfolio and risk managers.”
The Dashboard therefore offers users the ability to plot portfolio entities against a variety of credit risk and price performance benchmarks. It can be used as an early warning and relative performance tool with the provision of historical and on the spot median CDS spread levels by rating category, claims Fitch Solutions.
According to the vendor, this will allow for greater insight into historical and current credit risk pricing curves by region and sector. Users will also be able to visualise differences between peer benchmark and entity prices and filter portfolios for market information such as big price and risk movers. The platform also now makes use of recent Fitch Solutions research, which demonstrates how the degree of notch difference between implied ratings and agency ratings can be predictive of future agency rating actions.