CORRECTIONS in merging markets offer investors buying opportunities as long as they are prepared to live with the high risks associated with these markets, said fund manager Terence Mahony yesterday. Speaking at an investment seminar at the Conrad Hotel, the HSBC Asset Management chief investment officer (emerging markets), said: ''Corrections are healthy. ''At present we have come down to levels of realistic value.'' Emerging markets around the world are prone to large swings in fortune. Asia-Pacific markets, Turkey and a number of Latin American markets, including Mexico, had seen significant downturns recently. Mr Mahony said nevertheless these markets offered higher returns for similar risk levels linked to investing in the more mature levels, according to fund management efficient frontier theory. Economic growth in the developing countries is expected to be sustainable at 4.7 per cent a year for a number of years against 2.7 per cent from the G7 members. After stripping out Eastern Europe and former Soviet bloc nations the developing country economic growth average lifts to 5.3 per cent. ''The Western world, the old world is slowing down and the developing nations are growing faster,'' said Mr Mahony. Establishing strict investment criteria in these markets was an important factor in avoiding losses through poor strategic planning. These criteria included liquidity, economic reform, openness to the outside world, political stability and exchange rate risk reduction. A combination of top down and bottom up analysis was needed to successfully invest in these countries, said Mr Mahony.