Debt crisis to affect more countries: BIS

11th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Sovereign debt crises are expected to widen to more countries in coming years, and public debts are increasingly likely to be viewed as risky assets, the Bank for International Settlements said Monday.

"Looking forward, sovereign risk concerns may affect a broad range of countries," said the bank for central banks.

"In advanced economies, government debt levels are expected to rise over coming years, due to high fiscal deficits and rising pension and health care costs," it added.

Emerging economies are not immune, as their vulnerability to external shocks and political instability could have occasional impact on their sovereign debt.

"Overall, risk premia on government debt will likely be higher and more volatile than in the past," noted the BIS.

"In some countries, sovereign debt has already lost its risk-free status; in others, it may do so in the future," it added.

The recent financial and economic crises have since given way to debt crises in smaller eurozone countries, such as Greece and Ireland, which have had to turn to international bailouts as borrowing from the market had become too costly.

In the United States, meanwhile, President Barack Obama is to convene crisis talks Monday in a bid to raise the $14.29 trillion US debt limit, so as to stave off a debt default.

© 2011 AFP

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