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Emerging market rout 'a long time coming': Rhodes

EM sell-off was 'a long time coming': Rhodes

Bill Rhodes, president and CEO of William Rhodes Global Advisors, told CNBC that he had been expecting a sell-off in emerging markets ever since the U.S. Federal Reserve first announced it was scaling back its massive stimulus program.

Rhodes — who was a key negotiator in the debt restructurings of some major emerging markets in the 1980s and 1990s — said that those countries that had not managed to reform their economies were "going to get hit."

"This has been a long time coming once the tapering was announced," he told CNBC's European Closing Bell.

"All of this action began because the funds had been flowing into emerging markets when we had quantitative easing... Well now you're getting the opposite of that."

On Wednesday, the Fed confirmed that it would scale back its monthly bond-buying program — which has boosted risk sentiment and emerging market currencies — by another $10 billion.

(Read more: Could this currency sell off like Argentina's peso?)

Despite every effort from policymakers and central bankers, the latest emerging markets sell-off — particularly in currencies — has continued.

The Argentinian peso slipped further on Thursday, and has now fallen over 20 percent against the U.S. dollar since the start of this year. There are also growing concerns about Hungary's forint, which bore the brunt of the Thursday's selling pressure and is now down over 5 percent since the beginning of this year.

Currencies such as the Brazilian real and the Turkish lira pared some losses on Thursday, but are still down respectively 2.0 percent and 4.6 percent against the dollar since 2014 began.

Rhodes said that he found countries like Argentina and Turkey especially troubling, given their high current account deficits and low reserve levels.

"These countries have to take these steps of tightening — raising interest rates — and you're going to see more of that before we're through here," he said.

China is real concern: Rhodes

Not all emerging market economies were the same, Rhodes added, highlighting that some, such as Brazil, were helped by high levels of foreign reserves.

(Read more: Are emerging markets on the brink of another crisis?)

"You can't lump all these countries together... Although you get an initial panic at a lot of times, and contagion, the individual countries will be judged on their own strengths and weaknesses, and that's what we're going to see here going forward," he said.

China concerns

Rhodes also stressed that he was concerned about China, as it attempts to shift its economy away from exports and towards domestic consumption.

His comments come after a survey by HSBC bank on Wednesday revealed that activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted in January. Recent weak data and growing worries about a credit crunch has led some analysts to predict a slowdown or a "hard landing" for China in 2014.

(Read more: Why people fear a shadow banking crisis in China)

"The real challenge for China is to bring off this move from exports to domestic consumption, and at the same time get the growth numbers over 7 percent, and not blow up the financial system," he said.

The country's financial system was going through a "really difficult period," he added, adding that shadow banking (unregulated, high-yield lending that largely takes place off banks' balance sheets) needed to be "brought under control."

By CNBC's Katrina Bishop.Follow her on Twitter @KatrinaBishop and Google