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Absolute Rate

Absolute Rate

What Is the Absolute Rate?

The absolute rate, otherwise called the absolute swap yield, is the total yield earned by the two players to a interest rate swap.

It is calculated as the sum of the fixed and variable parts of the interest rate swap. For instance, on the off chance that an interest rate swap has a fixed rate of 2% and a variable rate of 3%, then the absolute rate would be 5%.

Seeing Absolute Rates

Interest rate swaps are a type of derivative transaction in which two gatherings consent to exchange, or "swap," one series of cash flows for one more over a set period of time.

The most regularly traded type of interest rate swap is a "plain vanilla" swap. In these contracts, one party consents to exchange a series of cash flows in view of a fixed interest rate, in exchange for a series of cash flows in light of a variable interest rate, for example, the Fed Funds rate.

At the time that the interest rate swap is initiated, the two series of cash flows — one which depends on a fixed interest rate, and the other which depends on a variable interest rate — will be structured so the two series have the equivalent net present value (NPV). Nonetheless, contingent upon how interest rates change after the contract is initiated, the interest rate swap might wind up helping one party more than the other.

Users of interest rate swaps will likewise allude to the "swap spread." The swap spread alludes to the difference between the interest rate on the fixed portion of an interest rate swap, as compared to the interest rate given by a sovereign debt security that has a comparative maturity period. For instance, assuming a 1-year sovereign bond is yielding 2.00% and the fixed portion of an interest rate swap is set at 3.00%, then the swap spread on that interest rate swap would be 1.00%.

Notwithstanding plain vanilla swaps, there are numerous different types of interest swap transactions, for example, ones in which the counterparties each exchange cash flows in view of a variable interest rate. Nonetheless, plain vanilla swaps comprise the majority of the market.

Swap Premiums

While starting another interest rate swap, one party might give an upfront premium to their counterparty relying upon the market's expectations of future interest rate developments. These expectations are generally checked by reference to the forward rate curve.

Illustration of an Absolute Rate

Assume you are an investor who as of late purchased a $1 million 10-year sovereign bond. The bond gives a fixed payment at a rate of 2.00% each year. In the weeks after you purchase the bond, you become persuaded that interest rates are probably going to rise. Thusly, you begin searching for an opportunity to exchange your fixed interest payments in exchange for variable payments which would rise assuming that interest rates increase.

You track down your solution in the derivative market, using an interest rate swap transaction. Your counterparty is in the contrary situation: the owner of a 10-year variable bond with principal value of $1 million, they feel excessively presented to interest risk and would favor having an anticipated fixed rate of interest.

To achieve your objectives, you and your counterparty settle on an interest rate swap by which you consent to pay your counterparty 2.00% each year, while your counterparty consents to pay you a variable rate in light of the Fed Funds rate, which is at present 2.00% too. In this scenario, the absolute rate of the interest rate swap is 4.00%, or the sum of the fixed and variable interest rates.


  • It is otherwise called the absolute swap yield and is a key measurement utilized by swaps traders alongside the swap spread.
  • The absolute rate is the sum of the fixed and variable rates utilized in an interest rate swap.
  • Interest rate swaps are a large and liquid market, valuable for parties wishing to hedge or conjecture on interest rate developments.