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Government Debt Issuers Most Likely to Default

Gov't Debt Issuers In Trouble

With the recent news surrounding the troubled economies of Greece and Dubai, many have questioned the stability and safety of government debt issued by these countries. But whose debt is really in the worst shape?To answer this question CMA Vision, a subsidiary of the CME Group, has put together its "Sovereign Risk Monitor", which ranks the world’s most volatile sovereign debt issuers according to percent changes in five-year credit default swaps (CDS). The countries are ranked by their cumulati
Photo: CNBC.com | Source: CMA DataVision

With the recent news surrounding the troubled economies of Greece and Dubai, many have questioned the stability and safety of government debt issued by these countries.

But whose debt is really in the worst shape?

To answer this question CMA DataVision, a subsidiary of the CME Group, has put together its "Sovereign Risk Monitor", which ranks the world’s most volatile sovereign debt issuers according to percent changes in five-year credit default swaps (CDS).

The countries are ranked by their cumulative probability of default (CPD), which gives the market's assessment of an issuer's likelihood of default over the life of a CDS contract. So, if a country has a 20% CPD rating for its five-year CDS contracts, the market believes this debt has a two-in-ten chance of defaulting in the next five years. 

Also included for each country is their most recent credit rating from one of the major agencies that covers them.

So, what current government debt carries the highest risk of default? Click ahead to find out!

By Paul Toscano
Updated 1 March 2010

10. Dominican Republic

CPD: 23.37%Mid Spread: 375.00Foreign Long Term: BForeign Short Term: BCredit Watch/Outlook: StablePictured: Santo Domingo skyline, Dominican Republic
Photo: AP

CPD: 23.37%
Mid Spread: 375.00

S&P Credit Rating:
Foreign Long Term: B
Foreign Short Term: B

Credit Watch/Outlook: Stable

Pictured: Santo Domingo skyline, Dominican Republic

9. Greece

CPD: 18.67%BBB+ / BBB+Pictured: The view over the caldera of Santorini, Greece.
Photo: Tom Pfeiffer | VolcanoDiscovery | Getty Images

CPD: 24.92%
Mid Spread: 341.54

S&P Credit Ratings:
Foreign Long Term: BBB+
Foreign Short Term: A-2

Credit Watch/Outlook: Negative

Pictured: The view over the caldera of Santorini, Greece.

8. Iceland

CPD: 24.66%Foreign Long Term: BBB-Foreign Short Term: A-3Credit Watch/Outlook: NegativePictured: A general aerial view taken in August 2005 of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland.
Photo: Ilan Arad | Getty Images

CPD: 27.03%
Mid Spread: 476.34

S&P Credit Ratings:
Foreign Long Term: BBB-
Foreign Short Term: A-3

Credit Watch/Outlook: Negative

Pictured: A general aerial view taken in August 2005 of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland.

7. Iraq

CPD: 28.25%Mid Spread: 475.97Foreign Long Term: N/AForeign Short Term: N/APictured: An aerial view of Baghdad, Iraq.
Photo: Getty Images

CPD: 28.25%
Mid Spread: 475.97

S&P Credit Ratings:
Foreign Long Term: N/A
Foreign Short Term: N/A

Pictured: An aerial view of Baghdad, Iraq.

6. Republic of Latvia

CPD: 30.47%Foreign Long Term: BBForeign Short Term: BCredit Watch/Outlook: NegativePictured: A general view of Riga taken from the top of St. Peters church on May 11, 2006.
Photo: Ilmars Znotins | AFP | Getty Images

CPD: 29.13%
Mid Spread: 513.31

S&P Credit Ratings:
Foreign Long Term: BB
Foreign Short Term: B

Credit Watch/Outlook: Stable

Pictured: A general view of Riga taken from the top of St. Peters church on May 11, 2006.

5. Dubai, UAE

CPD: 25.71%*Foreign Long Term: BB+Local Long Term: BB+Credit Watch/Outlook: NegativePictured: The Burj Dubai the tallest building in the world dominates the city skyline seen from a hot air balloon above the course during the third round of the Dubai Ladies Masters on the Majilis Course at the Emirates Golf Club on December 13, 2008 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates  *
Photo: Getty Images

CPD: 32.46%
Mid Spread: 572.92

S&P Credit Rating:
Foreign Long Term: N/A
Foreign Short Term: N/A

Pictured: The Burj Dubai the tallest building in the world dominates the city skyline seen from a hot air balloon above the course during the third round of the Dubai Ladies Masters on the Majilis Course at the Emirates Golf Club on December 13, 2008 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

*Ratings shown are for the Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC, which is one of six Dubai government-related entities that experienced a ratings downgrade.

4. Pakistan

CPD: 38.11% Foreign Long Term: B-Foreign Short Term: CCredit Watch/Outlook: StablePictured: Pakistani college students and athletes line the roadside waving Pakistan and Melbourne 2006 flags to welcome the Melbourne 2006 Queen's Baton through the streets of Islamabad on September 13, 2005 in Pakistan.
Photo: Getty Images

CPD: 42.17%
Mid Spread: 803.20

S&P Credit Ratings:
Foreign Long Term: B-
Foreign Short Term: C

Credit Watch/Outlook: Stable

Pictured: Pakistani college students and athletes line the roadside waving Pakistan and Melbourne 2006 flags to welcome the Melbourne 2006 Queen's Baton through the streets of Islamabad on September 13, 2005 in Pakistan.

3. Ukraine

CPD: 52.91%Foreign Long Term: CCC+Foreign Short Term: CCredit Watch/Outlook: StablePictured: Kiev, Ukraine, Independence Square
Photo: Andrea Pistolesi | The Image Bank | Getty Images

CPD: 44.12%
Mid Spread: 884.91

S&P Credit Ratings:
Foreign Long Term: CCC+
Foreign Short Term: C

Credit Watch/Outlook: Stable

Pictured: Kiev, Ukraine, Independence Square

2. Venezuela

CPD: 56.26%Foreign Long Term: BB-Foreign Short Term: BCredit Watch/Outlook: NegativePictured: Venezuela, Caracas, skyline
Photo: Hisham Ibrahim | The Image Bank | Getty Images

CPD: 49.76%
Mid Spread: 1013.78

S&P Credit Ratings:
Foreign Long Term: BB-
Foreign Short Term: B

Credit Watch/Outlook: Stable
Credit Watch/Outlook: Negative

Pictured: Venezuela, Caracas, skyline

1. Argentina

CPD: 46.06%Foreign Long Term: B-Foreign Short Term: CCredit Watch/Outlook: Stable
Photo: Walter Bibikow | The Image Bank | Getty Images

CPD: 50.14%
Mid Spread: 1081.14

S&P Credit Ratings:
Foreign Long Term: B-
Foreign Short Term: C

Credit Watch/Outlook: Stable

Pictured: Argentina, Buenos Aires, El Obelisko, Plaza de la Republica, and Avenida.