Discussion paper

Private Credit in Emerging Markets

January 5, 2021

Private credit broadly refers to nonbank lending to firms. Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008–2009, private credit has grown considerably. Although the phenomenon of private credit is more predominant in the United States and the United Kingdom, it is also a growing asset class in emerging markets. Private credit appeals to borrowers because of bespoke, structured solutions, longer maturities, greater flexibility, and ease of doing business. Investors also like private credit, because of its attractive risk-adjusted returns. The global economic shock resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has seen marked changes in production and consumption patterns in the real economy, with ripple effects in credit markets. Uncertainty and increased risk aversion spiked a rush to top up liquidity—the so-called ‘dash for cash’— primarily in the bank-intermediated credit and public capital markets. Private credit is an important segment of financial markets, that has played a strong role in providing access to financing for underserved segments. With significant amounts of ‘dry powder’ (capital raised but not yet invested), private credit has a potentially important role to play in the post-pandemic recovery as a long-term partner for growth.