The market for credit risk transfer (CRT) transactions continues to grow and diversify, providing institutional investors with valuable options to consider as part of their investment portfolios. In this article, Milliman’s Jonathan Glowacki and Rehan Siddique, explain CRT bonds and provide a risk profile for them. The authors also discuss how CRT bonds offer investors diversification to corporate bonds, comparing the two securities.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Institutional investors are large investors in the corporate bond space. CRT bonds could offer diversification to corporate bonds. The table in Figure 4 compares corporate bonds with CRT bonds:
Spreading the underlying exposures for CRT bonds across many geographic areas allows for a diversification of exposures (i.e., thousands of individual borrowers) as compared with corporate bonds, which is a single entity. In addition, for a portfolio of 1,000 corporate bonds, an investor might expect 50 to default, for a default rate of 5%. With CRT bonds, you may have an expected default rate of 5% weighted across all economic scenarios, but in most of the scenarios you would experience a 0% default rate.
In terms of performance, as of February 2017, most of CRT bonds have shown positive movement in their credit ratings since issuance with none showing an unfavorable movement.
The table in Figure 6 provides a comparison of the average initial spread with corporate option-adjusted spread (OAS) over the last five years as of May 31, 2017. We can see that, historically, CRT bonds tend to have higher comparable spreads than corporate bonds. As the market for CRT bonds continues to grow and interest rates continue to rise in the short term, we can expect similar trends in spread.