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IMF says no panic in emerging markets

The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that there was no panic in emerging markets even as countries like India, Turkey and Argentina were facing sharp capital outflows and currency pressures.

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that there was no panic in emerging markets even as countries like India, Turkey and Argentina were facing sharp capital outflows and currency pressures.

"This is not like May, this is not a panic situation," said Jose Vinals, director of the IMF's Monetary and Capital Markets Department.

He called the turbulence in emerging economies "a combination of idiosyncratic factors" across the countries affected, unlike the broad-based capital outflows earlier this year that was sparked by the expected tightening of US monetary policy by the Federal Reserve.

"We don't see the commonality that existed in May, which was the US tapering. This (the recent turbulence) is something where the US monetary policy tapering expectations have so far not played an important role," he said.

The Fed finally began to cut back its massive stimulus program this month, long after US interest rates had risen in anticipation, and Vinals dismissed that as the spark for the newest challenges hitting those countries.

Instead, the jitters are signs that the emerging economies "have yet to complete their adjustment to more volatile external conditions and higher risk premiums," he said separately in a report on recent market developments.

"Some of these headwinds may be homemade, and some others could come from abroad," he told journalists.

"But one of these fundamentals has to do with keeping inflation under control, and central banks in emerging markets must have a sufficient degree of independence so as to act" in a timely manner to keep a steady hand on inflation.

"It's very important to transmit confidence to international investors," he said.

After the Turkish lira sank more than 30 percent against the dollar since mid-2013, Turkey's central bank late Tuesday jacked up interest rates sharply to defend the currency, despite opposition from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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