Australian banks increased their advantage in credit-default swaps over global peers this quarter by the most in two years as bad loans fell and lenders led by Commonwealth Bank of Australia cut overseas borrowings.
Bond investors seeking refuge from Europe’s sovereign debt crisis are finding Australia’s banks safer than their global peers, even after the top four lenders’ credit ratings were downgraded last month.
Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-biggest mining company, took advantage of near record-low yields to cut debt costs as company bond sales in the U.S. this month swell to $40 billion while Australia’s market slows.
Australian borrowers are selling the fewest bonds at home since May 2010 as yield premiums on corporate and state notes hit the highest in at least two years on concern Europe’s crisis will freeze global credit markets.
Bonds of Australian banks are outperforming overseas peers by the most in almost two years as surging profits help them weather concerns the European debt crisis that began in Greece will derail the global economy.