Private equity activity in emerging markets has plunged by 60 per cent since the credit crunch took hold, according to a study by accountancy giant Deloitte and Arbor Square Associates. The first quarter of 2009 saw just 51 private equity deals take place in emerging countries, compared to 128 deals in the third quarter of 2008. This year looks set to remain downbeat, with private equity funds across the region predicting activity will fall. Only China was an exception, with local managers expecting a boost in activity. Latin American, Indian, North African and Middle Eastern bosses tended to be more bullish than other regions.