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Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday that it would regard both a Greece sovereign debt swap and a rollover of maturities, even a voluntary one, as a default.
Both a sovereign bond exchange and a voluntary rollover would be events considered as a default, said Andrew Colquhoun, head of Asia-Pacific sovereign ratings with Fitch at a conference.
A month ago Fitch downgraded Greece's credit rating three notches to "B+" and warned it could cut the rating further into junk territory. At the time, the rating agency said an extension of the maturity of existing bonds would be considered a default.
Fitch's Colquhoun also reiterated that the rating agency would place the U.S. sovereign rating on watch negative if Congress did not raise the federal government's borrowing ceiling by August 2, and said if the U.S. government misses an August 15 coupon payment, then Fitch would place the rating on restricted default.
But it added it believed it was very likely that the debt ceiling would be raised and default would be avoided.