This paper analyzes the special character of currency risks associated with equity investments in emerging capital markets. Such investments are an important and growing source of funds for financing projects which contribute to the rapid pace of growth in emerging markets. While investors in any foreign market face the consequences of possible changes in the value of foreign currency, uncertainty about the terms for currency conversion in emerging markets are aggravated by the interaction of capital flows and currency values, particularly for countries which rely heavily on external sources of financing. In such an environment, it is essential for investors to understand the characteristics of currency risk in order to incorporate them in their investment decisions. This paper analyzes equity market returns and currency fluctuations in a group of emerging markets by comparing them to a set of developed countries. By traditional measures of risk emerging markets appear to have low levels of currency risk. This paper demonstrates that there has also been substantial changes in currency risk in emerging markets which have not occurred in developed markets. This paper also discusses methods of hedging currency risk, taking into account the limitations on hedging strategies in emerging markets and the special characteristics of currency risks in those markets.
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