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Emerging markets confront rising risks, says S&P

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Emerging markets (EMs) are facing severe stress resulting from three simultaneous shocks, as COVID-19 pandemic spreads globally, according to a report by S&P Global Ratings. The company says that sll key emerging economies that it covers will fall into recession or see sharply lower growth in 2020.

S&P Global Ratings says: “We believe stress could become more significant in the coming weeks given that most EMs are only beginning to show an escalation of COVID 19 cases. As the epidemic accelerates, measures to contain the spread of the virus will compound the hit to economic activity from external shocks.

“The strength of eventual recovery will crucially depend on policy measures to cushion the blow and limit economic dislocation. Policy space differs across EMs.

“Downside risks are significant. Prolonged outbreak will depress activity and stress health systems. Extended shock to investor sentiment could result in heightened refinancing risk, especially for low rated issuers.”

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