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special purpose vehicle (SPV)

A company created by (but not owned by) an insurer or reinsurer for the sole purpose of issuing debt (usually in the form of a catastrophe bond). The use of SPVs is restricted to off-shore domiciles to be able to maintain the issuer's (the U.S.-based insurer or reinsurer) U.S. tax and accounting treatments with regard to such transactions.


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