The crisis of the world's most heavily indebted company - chinese real estate giant Evergrande, whose debt is $300 billion - has deepened after it was revealed that it missed a crucial repayment deadline.
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That prompted Fitch, an agency that assesses corporate financial risk, to declare Evergrande insolvent.
The crisis has frightened investors who fear contagion in China's real estate and banking sectors.
Evergrande had to pay back interest on approximately $1.2 billion in international loans on Monday. But by Wednesday the money still hadn't been transferred.
Fitch became the first rating agency to declare China Evergrande's foreign bonds default after the world's most indebted developer failed to pay crucial interest this week.
The announcement marked the most significant moment in the developer marathon liquidity crisis that spread to other companies in the country's vast real estate sector and fueled global concerns about the potential impact on the Chinese economy.
Evergrande, which has liabilities in excess of $ 300 billion, missed Monday's due date to redeem bond coupons totaling $ 82.5 million. The group had not yet transferred the funds to New York on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter. Fitch said the company did not respond to a confirmation request on coupon payments, and therefore assumed they had not been made.
The very serious potential impact of the collapse of such a heavily indebted company has prompted some analysts to suggest that Beijing may step in.
Mattie Bekink of the Economist Intelligence Unit believes: "We believe that, rather than risk disrupting supply chains and enraging homeowners, the government will likely find a way to ensure the survival of Evergrande's core business." Others, however, are not sure.
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