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What is the context of bonds in global financial markets?

Globally, financial markets— both equity and debt—were worth US$212 trillion in 2010, with bonds reaching about US$93 trillion or 44 percent of the total. The largest markets were in the United States (32 percent), Western Europe (30 percent), Japan (12 percent), and other regions, as shown in figure 3. Emerging financial markets account for about 17 percent and are growing fastest, particularly in China and India.

How do emerging financial markets compare?

Asia Pacific and Latin America are the largest emerging financial markets. The total value (market capitalization) of their equity market is 20–30 times higher, and the size of their bond markets 4–5 times bigger, than those of Africa and the Middle East, and the Russian Federation, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia combined.

Asia Pacific Bond Market

Asia Pacific’s bond market is the largest among emerging nations in large part because of China’s growing US$4.3 trillion bond market. The region also contains the highest concentration of developing countries with growing domestic and international bond markets.

Latin American Bond Market

Some countries in the Latin American region have fast-growing domestic debt markets and sizable international investor participation.