Quiz: how much do you know about emerging market bonds?

When we talk about investing in emerging markets, we often think first about equities. Yet emerging market bonds can be another way to gain exposure to these economies.

While these bonds will be higher risk than an investment grade UK or US corporate or government bond, they should be less volatile than a stock market investment and they could make an excellent diversifier in an income portfolio. So how much do you know about the asset class?

Richard House, manager of the Elite Rated Standard Life Investments Emerging Market Debt fund, and his team have put together a few questions to help you test your knowledge! Scroll down for the answers and good luck!!

Questions: true or false?

  1. The last US Federal Reserve (the Fed) hiking cycle took place in 2004. Fed funds went from 1% to 5.25% over the course of a year. The previous rate hiking cycle started in 1999, where Fed funds went from 4.75% to 6.55%. During both cycles emerging markets equities fell.
  2. During both cycles referred to above, emerging markets local currencies fell against the US dollar.
  3. During both cycles, emerging markets hard currency bond spreads rose.
  4. Emerging markets account for a larger share of global gross domestic product than advanced economies.
  5. As of 13 November 2016, the Mexican peso has fallen more against the USD than sterling year-to-date.
  6. Government debt as a percentage of GDP is higher in Lebanon than in the UK.
  7. The Bank of England has more foreign exchange reserve than the Central Bank of Brazil.
  8. Emerging market corporate bonds are mostly rated as high yield.
  9. In his purge of Turkish media in 2016, in which 89 journalists were arrested, President Erdogan made the following comment … “Most of the media, seventy percent, seventy-five percent is absolute dishonest, absolute scum.”


  • False. They rose on average of 50% during the last two rate hiking cycles.
  • False. They rose on average of 17% during the last 2 rate hiking cycles.
  • False. Spreads fell, on average, by 195 bps during the last 2 rate hiking cycles.
  • True: Advanced economies: 42% and emerging markets and developing economies: 58%.
  • False. They have fallen exactly the same 14.80%.
  • True. It is 139% in Lebanon and 90% in the UK. However of the 70 countries in the Emerging Market Bond Index only Lebanon, Mozambique, Mongolia and Jamaica have higher Debt/GDP than the UK.
  • False. Brazil has 3 times the amount. Brazil: $356bn. UK: $117bn.
  • False. 60% of emerging market corporate bonds are investment grade and 40% are high yield.
  • False. It was Donald Trump.



This article is provided for information only. The views of the author and any people quoted are their own and do not constitute financial advice. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any fund or trust, or to adopt a particular investment strategy. However, the knowledge that professional analysts have analysed a fund or trust in depth before assigning them a rating can be a valuable additional filter for anyone looking to make their own decisions. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Remember, all investments can fall in value as well as rise, so you could make a loss. Before you make any investment decision, make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks.Further information can be found on Elite Rated funds by simply clicking on the name highlighted in the article.