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Junk bonds of companies in emerging markets are the most expensive in seven years relative to the U.S., underscoring concerns by policy makers from Mexico to the Philippines who say the threat of asset bubbles is increasing.

Speculative-grade securities from nations including China and Brazil returned 14.8 percent since end-June, versus 9.4 percent in the U.S., according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. Emerging-market yields fell to 7.3 percent from 9.3 percent a year ago even as net debt rose to a record 3.02 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The median yield-to-leverage ratio of 2.4 compares with 2.1 in the U.S., the smallest premium since 2005, the year before developing-nation returns lagged behind.

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