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A good year for local emerging capital markets

Some banks are doing more than others in building local capital markets in frontier countries.

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It might not be a great year for emerging market returns, but real progress is being made in perhaps the most important part of, well, emerging as a market – the development of local financial markets. 

The banks on Euromoney’s shortlist for world’s best bank for public-sector clients were all hard at work during the awards period helping EM clients reduce their exposure to the appreciating dollar through liability management exercises on outstanding debt issues or FX solutions such as cross-currency swaps on dollar denominated loans. As EM debt continues to get pounded this year and the dollar continues to rise, it is becoming clear how important that trend has been for those economies. 

But developing local capital and financial markets means more than helping EM and frontier borrowers build a debt profile in local currencies. It is also about helping them develop the market infrastructure, knowledge and diverse investor pool necessary to pull through routs like these without getting hamstrung in the long term.

EM debt is down across the board this year, as the dollar appreciates, oil prices rise and the world edges closer to a global trade war.

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