May 1, 2015
Most top credit rating agencies say they would not cut Greece's rating to default if it misses a payment to the International Monetary Fund or European Central Bank, a stance that could keep vital ECB funding flowing into the financial system.
Greece owes nearly 1 billion euros to the IMF in May and almost 7 billion euros to the ECB over July and August and there are concerns that the government, stuck in funding talks with official lenders, will miss the payments.
This would be an unprecedented move that could put Athens' future in the euro in doubt and has raised questions about whether it could set off a chain reaction, possibly accelerating repayments due to other official and private sector creditors and compounding Greece's problems.
But for most rating firms, whose views determine whether the ECB can still accept sovereign Greek securities as collateral for lending to its banks, a missed IMF payment would not lead them label the country in default.