Liquidity needs to pick up in EM

March 18, 2014

Emerging markets have seen heavy selling in the past few months, with political and economic crises hitting the region’s currencies and asset markets.

The obvious question now is: Is all the bad news in the price?

London-based CrossBorder Capital, who publishes monthly liquidity and risk appetite data for developed and emerging economies, thinks not.

“It is probably too early to buy the EM sector right now, certainly not until liquidity picks up again,” Michael Howell, CrossBorder’s managing director, says.

The firm’s Global Liquidity Index reading (which ranges from 0-100) for emerging markets stands at 13.3, up from 12.1 in the previous month, weighed down by tighter liquidity in China. This compares with 75.3 for developed markets while even frontier markets have a liquidity score of 70.3, CrossBorder says. The index measures liquidity data from central banks, private sector, cross-border flows and financial conditions.

“Our long-held mantra is that ‘every EM crisis is first-and foremost a currency crisis’, and to-date EM only looks to be some half-way through,” Howell said. “A large EM currency devaluation may be needed to lift EM liquidity.”


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