Emerging markets have convulsed recently amid concerns about government balance sheets, but investors may want to worry more about corporate ones instead.
Dramatic falls in the currencies of countries such as Argentina and Turkey have triggered widespread selling across the emerging markets with the "Fragile Five" – India, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa –among the worst hit.
But fears of a traditional emerging market sovereign crisis may be misplaced.
"The ordinary precursor measures of a crisis such as current account deficits, foreign-exchange reserves, exchange rate valuations and government debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) might be misleading on their own," the investment bank Jefferies said in a note Wednesday.
(Read more: Will emerging markets become a euro zone-style risk?)
"It is maybe the repayment schedules of borrowers that matter most."