What is a 'Credit Linked Note - CLN'

A credit linked note (CLN) is a security with an embedded credit default swap allowing the issuer to transfer a specific credit risk to credit investors.

CLNs are created through a Special Purpose Company (SPC), or trust, which is collateralized with AAA-rated securities. Investors buy securities from a trust that pays a fixed or floating coupon during the life of the note. At maturity, the investors receive par unless the referenced credit defaults or declares bankruptcy, in which case they receive an amount equal to the recovery rate. The trust enters into a default swap with a deal arranger. In case of default, the trust pays the dealer par minus the recovery rate in exchange for an annual fee which is passed on to the investors in the form of a higher yield on the notes.

BREAKING DOWN 'Credit Linked Note - CLN'

Under this structure, the coupon or price of the note is linked to the performance of a reference asset. It offers borrowers a hedge against credit risk, and gives investors a higher yield on the note for accepting exposure to a specified credit event.

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