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Copula Based Simulation Procedures for Pricing Basket Credit Derivatives

by Fathi Abid of the University of Sfax, and
Nader Naifar of the University of Sfax

March 2007

Abstract: This paper deals with the impact of structure of dependency and the choice of procedures for rare-event simulation on the pricing of multi-name credit derivatives such as nth to default swap and Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO). The correlation between names defaulting has an effect on the value of the basket credit derivatives. We present a copula based simulation procedure for pricing basket default swaps and CDO under different structure of dependency and assessing the influence of different price drivers (correlation, hazard rates and recovery rates) on modelling portfolio losses. Gaussian copulas and Monte Carlo simulation is widely used to measure the default risk in basket credit derivatives. Default risk is often considered as a rare-event and then, many studies have shown that many distributions have fatter tails than those captured by the normal distribution. Subsequently, the choice of copula and the choice of procedures for rare-event simulation govern the pricing of basket credit derivatives. An alternative to the Gaussian copula is Clayton copula and t-student copula under importance sampling procedures for simulation which captures the dependence structure between the underlying variables at extreme values and certain values of the input random variables in a simulation have more impact on the parameter being estimated than others.

Keywords: Collateralized Debt Obligations, Basket Default Swaps, Monte Carlo method, One factor Gaussian copula, Clayton copula, t-student copula, importance sampling.

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