RPT-INVESTMENT FOCUS-It's payback time for emerging markets' $1.6 trillion debt

lunes 14 de marzo de 2016 03:00 GYT

(Repeats story published on Friday)

* Graphic on debt issuance, maturities: tmsnrt.rs/1Rb4n8S

By Karin Strohecker

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - Recent signs of stabilisation in emerging markets may merely be the calm before the storm - a $1.6 trillion debt mountain is due for repayment in the next five years, a steep rise in maturities that could stir fresh trouble.

The debt-servicing hump - with annual repayments jumping by more than $100 billion by 2020 compared with 2015 - is a result of a borrowing spree after the 2008 financial crisis.

From African governments to Turkish banks, developing world borrowers flogged their debt on hard-currency bond markets in post-crisis years, encouraged by near-zero U.S. interest rates that sent investors hunting for higher yields.

But it's payback time.

Almost $1.6 trillion is due for repayment from 2016 to 2020 with corporate debt accounting for more than three-quarters of the total, according to data from ICBC Standard Bank. For a graphic on emerging market debt issuance and maturities, see tmsnrt.rs/1Rb4n8S

Until now, a relatively light maturity schedule for company debt along with rock-bottom global interest rates have capped defaults in the $2 trillion corporate debt sector. But weak commodity prices, higher U.S. interest rates and above all, the sheer volume of repayments could make things tricky.   Continuación...