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国际三大评级机构:比特币期货可能导致相关清算银行评级下降

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国际三大评级机构:比特币期货可能导致相关清算银行评级下降

金融刊物Risk.net报道称,标准普尔、穆迪和惠誉(Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch)等三大评级机构都对比特币期货市场交易量的增加表示担忧。目前,在受到监管的美国交易所芝加哥商品交易所(CME)和芝加哥期权交易所(CBOE)都有比特币期货。

如果比特币期货市场在未来几个月继续增长,评级机构可能会下调相关的清算银行的评级。

据CCN报道,自去年12月推出以来,比特币期货的交易量一直在稳步增长。在一个交易日内,比特币期货的交易量总计已超过6.7亿美元。这种不断增加的交易量赋予了这一新生的资产类别合法性,但它让评级机构担心银行正在承担不必要的信贷风险。

评级机构表示,尽管比特币的影响还不足以成为关注的主体,但是由于其价格的波动性,它们可能会下调为客户清算比特币期货的银行的信用评级。

惠誉评级(Fitch Ratings)非银行金融机构全球主管纳森·弗兰德斯(Nathan Flanders)表示:“影响评级的因素是我们认为市场可能没有充分认识到的东西,是值得未来监控的东西。如果名义上的重要性增加,我们将增加与银行的对话。”

他补充道:

“对于银行来说,尽管它们声称自己没有直接参与加密货币清算成员的交易,但不管它们喜欢与否,它们都有一些间接的风险敞口。”

评级机构将信用评级(通常是字母等级)分配给银行,以评估它们在债务上违约的风险。评级被下调的银行可能更难获得融资,也可能面临更高的担保要求,从而限制它们向客户提供的信贷额度。

并非只有惠誉对比特币期货有这种敌意的看法。穆迪(Moody ‘s)董事总经理安娜·阿尔索夫(Ana Arsov)也表示:在决定一家银行的评级时,它将把比特币期货清算业务视为“信用负面”,尽管目前这种风险还不足以产生实质性影响。

“如果一家银行要建立一种非常大的加密货币清算业务业务,那将是一种信用违约。与任何资产类别一样,如果出现我们认为不合适的新的风险点,就可能造成评级下调压力。然而,我们不认为这种风险迫在眉睫。”

标准普尔(Standard & Poor ‘s)全球金融机构评级主管蒂埃里·格伦斯潘(Thierry Grunspan)赞同上述观点。不过他强调,目前这种风险还“非常遥远”。

同时他也表示:

“对于交易加密货币的清算银行来说,显然有直接影响。如果交易量激增,这意味着他们的一些对冲基金客户的交易量很大,因此这给他们带来了一些额外的风险,并且是直接的风险。”

但是,尽管这些风险目前还很遥远,但随着越来越多的公司推出加密货币衍生产品,这些风险可能会变得更加直接。

芝加哥期权交易所(CBOE)一直对自己创造更多加密货币产品的愿望毫不避讳,而许多人认为芝加哥商品交易所(CME)已采取了开启以太坊(ethereum)期货市场的第一步。与此同时,据报道,纳斯达克(Nasdaq)正在开发自己的比特币期货产品,并表示愿意推出加密货币货币交易所。

此外,许多基金公司希望能很快上市第一支比特币ETF,这一进展将为更多的零售买家提供比特币期货敞口。

Rating agencies may downgrade banks that clear bitcoin futures if these financial products continue to see increasing volumes over the coming months.

Financial publication Risk.net reports that each of the three large rating agencies — Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch — have expressed concern over increasing volume in bitcoin futures markets, which are currently available on regulated US exchanges CME and CBOE.

As CCN reported, volume in these markets has grown steadily since their December launch, and combined bitcoin futures trading volume has exceeded $670 million during a single trading session. This increasing volume has helped lend legitimacy to this nascent asset class, but it has rating agencies worried that banks are taking on unnecessary credit risk.

While still too low to be a major concern, rating agencies said that, due to the volatility of the bitcoin price, they may downgrade the creditworthiness of banks who clear bitcoin futures for their clients.

“[The impact on ratings] is something that we think is perhaps not fully appreciated by the market and something that warrants monitoring going forward,” said. Nathan Flanders, global head of non-bank financial institutions at Fitch Ratings. “If the notional materiality increases, that is going to increase our dialogue with the banks.”

He added:

“For banks, even though they are saying they are not directly engaging in the trading of cryptocurrencies as clearing members, they have some indirect exposure to it, whether they like it or not.”

Rating agencies assign credit ratings — often letter grades — to banks to gauge the risk that they will default on their debts. Banks whose ratings are downgraded may have a more difficult time obtaining access to funding and may also face higher collateral requirements, limiting the amount of credit they can extend to their clients.

This hostile view toward bitcoin futures is not isolated to Fitch. Ana Arsov, managing director at Moody’s, said that it will consider a bitcoin futures clearing operation a “credit negative” when deciding on a bank’s rating, though this risk is not currently large enough to have a material impact.

“If a bank were to establish a very large business clearing cryptocurrencies, that would be credit negative. As with any asset class, if there is a new concentration of risk that we think is inappropriate, that can create downward ratings pressure. However, we don’t see that risk as imminent.”

Thierry Grunspan, director of global financial institutions ratings at Standard & Poor’s, concurred with those assessments, though he stressed that the risk was “very remote for now.”

“For the clearing members that do trade cryptocurrencies, there is clearly a direct effect,” he said. “If volumes explode, it means some of their hedge fund clients are trading heavily, so it is putting some extra risk on their shoulders. The link is direct.”

But though remote for now, those risks could become more pertinent as more firms release cryptocurrency derivatives products.

CBOE has not been shy about its desire to create more cryptocurrency products, and CME has taken what many believe are the first steps toward launching an ethereum futures market. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, is reportedly developing its own bitcoin futures product and has expressed openness to launching a cryptocurrency exchange.

Moreover, a number of fund providers hope to soon be able to list the first bitcoin ETF, a development that would provide a greater number of retail buyers with exposure to bitcoin futures.


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