As stock markets around the world fell amid a wide-spread sell-off Thursday, many investors were pointing fingers at the European country of Portugal and concerns over the health of one of its lenders as the root cause of the day's troubles.
Here's a brief look at why we should be worried about Portugal.
Why is this happening?
After several months of rumbling, Portuguese conglomerate Espírito Santo International this week delayed payments to some of the holders of its short-term debt securities.
Its Swiss banking arm Banque Privee Espirito Santo is at the center of the concerns after it failed to pay some of its clients earlier this week. The Portuguese media reported the company blamed the issue on an IT mistake, while at the same time making sure that the investors with this exposure were being protected.
However by, Wednesday, investors holding the commercial paper issued by Espírito Santo International were being asked to swap their debt securities for shares. And by Thursday, the country's Economico news publication reported that it was seeking judicial protection against its creditors.