When Irish Curves Are Splining: How To Arb (And Profit) From Unsymmetrical Irish Cash/CDS Curves
As we pointed out earlier, the Irish 10 Year just hit an all time high of 503 and has continued leaking higher. The main catalyst according to several trading desks is the following RIA Novosti report which says that Russia, demonstrating far more prudence than a recently insane China, has stated that it is excluding Ireland and Spain from possible sovereign wealth fund investments: "Russia has excluded debt-saddled Ireland and Spain from the list of
countries whose securities can be used as investment targets for
Russia's sovereign wealth funds, the Finance Ministry said on Wednesday. The Finance Ministry, which posted the respective orders on its website
on Wednesday, said it had shortened the list of sovereign wealth fund
investment "to reduce risks in the process of the funds' management." It appears Russia is gearing for the inevitable jettisoning of a peripheral Eurozone country now that Europe will be forced to take drastic measures to lower the euro following today's QE2, something China appears to not be able to grasp just yet. And while the Irish cash treasury curve is getting increasingly flat, it is still upward sloping. Which is more than one can say for the CDS curve, which just like Greece, went inverted, and the 10 Year is now trading 40 bps inside the 3 Year. Which brings us to our trade recommendation of the day: just like in Greece cash was slow to catch up to synthetic, the expectation is that both curves will eventually overlay. However, as Greece taught us playing cash/CDS basis trades can result in some very dramatic liquidity induced flame-outs, we suggest sticking to either product on both sides of the hedge: namely - establish a cash flattener (sell 10 Year at 7.462%, buy the 3 Year at 5.330% for a pick of 210 bps), hedged with CDS steepener (sell 3 Year at 559 bps, buy 10 Year at 515 bps, for a net of 45 bps), both on a duration neutral basis . Assuming both curves pancake, one would stand to make about 165 bps. Of course, a simpler trade is just to put a flattener on for 3s10s cash.
Below is the Irish cash curve:
And the Irish CDS curve, both standalone, and indexed for German CDS spreads.