Indebted emerging world about to count cost of Fed rate rise
* Firms, households loaded up on cheap debt since 2008
* Fed about to end almost seven years of ultra-low rates
* Petrobras sees annual debt repayments more than doubling
* Some firms cut spending plans to prepare for Fed hike
By Sujata Rao
LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Sometime this year, possibly even this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve will add billions of dollars to the annual cost of borrowing. Many firms, especially in emerging markets, seem ill-prepared for the inevitable.
Whenever the Fed finally starts tightening monetary policy, the impact will probably be felt for years by companies and households that loaded up on cheap debt during almost seven years of near-zero official U.S. interest rates.
The Fed lifted the U.S. economy from near-collapse in 2008 when it slashed the Fed funds rate, effectively the base rate underpinning borrowing costs around the world.
Now the heady years of rock-bottom rates are drawing to a close, with the Fed widely expected to raise them before the year-end and perhaps when its board meets on Thursday. Continuación...