China-based solar-panel maker Suntech declares bankruptcy: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - China-based solar-panel maker Suntech Power Holdings, one of the world's largest solar panel manufacturers by capacity, declared bankruptcy on Wednesday, state news agency Xinhua said.

Creditor banks of Suntech, based in Wuxi in eastern China, have jointly filed an application to Wuxi Intermediate People's Court for bankruptcy reorganisation of the firm, Xinhua said.

"Bankruptcy reorganisation will be carried out for Suntech, given that it is unable to repay maturing debt," the report said.

The company, which has a New York stock listing and was valued at US$16 billion (S$20 billion) at its peak, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

On Monday, Suntech said that it had defaulted on US$541 million of its bonds due on Friday, triggering cross-defaults on loans from International Finance Corp and Chinese lenders.

Despite billions of dollars in subsidies, Suntech and other solar industry manufacturers have been haemorrhaging cash, hit by trade disputes and a global panel glut that has caused prices to collapse and hammered their once high-flying stock prices over the past two years.