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IMF warns of increased risks to global financial stability

The International Monetary Fund said short-term risks to the financial system have risen in the past six months, and these risks could increase significantly if vulnerabilities in emerging markets and global trade continue to rise.

"Near-term risks to global financial stability have increased somewhat," the IMF said in its biannual Global Financial Stability report. "Overall, market participants appear complacent about the risk of a sharp tightening in financial conditions."

The IMF said medium-term financial stability risks remain elevated due to high levels of nonfinancial sector debt in advanced economies and escalating external borrowing in emerging markets.

The fund said economic growth appears to have peaked in some major economies like the U.S. but the gap between advanced countries and emerging markets has been widening.

IMF research shows emerging market countries, excluding China, could face debt portfolio outflows of up to $100 billion, a level last seen during the global financial crisis.

The number of low-income countries with debt-to-GDP ratios above critical levels has been increasing. As of August, more than 45% of low-income countries were at high risk, or already experiencing it, compared with about 25% five years ago.

Emerging-market stability has come into greater focus after Pakistan's government announced it was seeking a bailout from the IMF.