“There is only one sovereign in Europe, and that is Germany,” said Stuart Thomson, who helps oversee about $120 billion as a portfolio manager at Ignis Asset Management in Glasgow. “Everything else is a credit and trades like a credit, even France.”
Investors currently demand about 90 basis points of extra yield to buy 10-year French debt rather than German bunds, even though both carry AAA grades from the major rating companies. That spread is almost triple the 2010 average of 33, and compares with 17 in the second half of the previous decade. The cost of insuring French debt rose to a record today.