Western banks are tightening lending, and the world economy is slowing, raising the likelihood that emerging-market companies will default on their debt. "The year ahead appears to be laden with a number of risks," said David Spegel, global head of emerging-market strategy at ING. "If borrowing costs remain ... higher, we might have to expect long-term default rates for corporates to be adjusted slightly higher and perhaps for us to see more frequent defaults."

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