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Introduction to IAS 21 - The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates


Scope

This Standard shall be applied:

(a) in accounting for transactions and balances in foreign currencies, except for those derivative transactions and balances that are within the scope of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments;
(b) in translating the results and financial position of foreign operations that are included in the financial statements of the entity by consolidation or the equity method; and
(c) in translating an entity’s results and financial position into a presentation currency.

Definitions

The following terms are used in this Standard with the meanings specified:

Closing rate is the spot exchange rate at the end of the reporting period.

Exchange difference is the difference resulting from translating a given number of units of one currency into another currency at different exchange rates.

Exchange rate is the ratio of exchange for two currencies.

Foreign currency is a currency other than the functional currency of the entity.

Foreign operation is an entity that is a subsidiary, associate, joint arrangement or branch of a reporting entity, the activities of which are based or conducted in a country or currency other than those of the reporting entity.

Functional currency is the currency of the primary economic environment in which the entity operates.

Spot exchange rate is the exchange rate for immediate delivery.

Reporting foreign currency transactions in the functional currency

Initial recognition

A foreign currency transaction shall be recorded, on initial recognition in the functional currency, by applying to the foreign currency amount the spot exchange rate between the functional currency and the foreign currency at the date of the transaction.

Reporting at the ends of subsequent reporting periods

At the end of each reporting period:

(a) foreign currency monetary items shall be translated using the closing rate;
(b) non-monetary items that are measured in terms of historical cost in a foreign currency shall be translated using the exchange rate at the date of the transaction; and
(c) non-monetary items that are measured at fair value in a foreign currency shall be translated using the exchange rates at the date when the fair value was measured.

Recognition of exchange differences

As noted in paragraphs 3(a) and 5, IAS 39 applies to hedge accounting for foreign currency items. The application of hedge accounting requires an entity to account for some exchange differences differently from the treatment of exchange differences required by this Standard. For example, IAS 39 requires that exchange differences on monetary items that qualify as hedging instruments in a cash flow hedge are recognised initially in other comprehensive income to the extent that the hedge is effective.

Exchange differences arising on the settlement of monetary items or on translating monetary items at rates different from those at which they were translated on initial recognition during the period or in previous financial statements shall be recognised in profit or loss in the period in which they arise, except as described in paragraph 32.

When a gain or loss on a non-monetary item is recognised in other comprehensive income, any exchange component of that gain or loss shall be recognised in other comprehensive income. Conversely, when a gain or loss on a non-monetary item is recognised in profit or loss, any exchange component of that gain or loss shall be recognised in profit or loss.

Exchange differences arising on a monetary item that forms part of a reporting entity’s net investment in a foreign operation (see paragraph 15) shall be recognised in profit or loss in the separate financial statements of the reporting entity or the individual financial statements of the foreign operation, as appropriate. In the financial statements that include the foreign operation and the reporting entity (eg consolidated financial statements when the foreign operation is a subsidiary), such exchange differences shall be recognised initially in other comprehensive income and reclassified from equity to profit or loss on disposal of the net investment in accordance with paragraph 48.

Change in functional currency

When there is a change in an entity’s functional currency, the entity shall apply the translation procedures applicable to the new functional currency prospectively from the date of the change.

Use of a presentation currency other than the functional currency

Translation to the presentation currency

An entity may present its financial statements in any currency (or currencies). If the presentation currency differs from the entity’s functional currency, it translates its results and financial position into the presentation currency. For example, when a group contains individual entities with different functional currencies, the results and financial position of each entity are expressed in a common currency so that consolidated financial statements may be presented.

The results and financial position of an entity whose functional currency is not the currency of a hyperinflationary economy shall be translated into a different presentation currency using the following procedures:

(a) assets and liabilities for each statement of financial position presented (ie including comparatives) shall be translated at the closing rate at the date of that statement of financial position;
(b) income and expenses for each statement presenting profit or loss and other comprehensive income (ie including comparatives) shall be translated at exchange rates at the dates of the transactions; and
(c) all resulting exchange differences shall be recognised in other comprehensive income.

The results and financial position of an entity whose functional currency is the currency of a hyperinflationary economy shall be translated into a different presentation currency using the following procedures:

(a) all amounts (ie assets, liabilities, equity items, income and expenses, including comparatives) shall be translated at the closing rate at the date of the most recent statement of financial position, except that
(b) when amounts are translated into the currency of a non-hyperinflationary economy, comparative amounts shall be those that were presented as current year amounts in the relevant prior year financial statements (ie not adjusted for subsequent changes in the price level or subsequent changes in exchange rates).

When an entity’s functional currency is the currency of a hyperinflationary economy, the entity shall restate its financial statements in accordance with IAS 29 before applying the translation method set out in paragraph 42, except for comparative amounts that are translated into a currency of a non-hyperinflationary economy (see paragraph 42(b)). When the economy ceases to be hyperinflationary and the entity no longer restates its financial statements in accordance with IAS 29, it shall use as the historical costs for translation into the presentation currency the amounts restated to the price level at the date the entity ceased restating its financial statements.

Disposal or partial disposal of a foreign operation


On the disposal of a foreign operation, the cumulative amount of the exchange differences relating to that foreign operation, recognised in other comprehensive income and accumulated in the separate component of equity, shall be reclassified from equity to profit or loss (as a reclassification adjustment) when the gain or loss on disposal is recognised (see IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements (as revised in 2007)). On the partial disposal of a subsidiary that includes a foreign operation, the entity shall re-attribute the proportionate share of the cumulative amount of the exchange differences recognised in other comprehensive income to the non-controlling interests in that foreign operation. In any other partial disposal of a foreign operation the entity shall reclassify to profit or loss only the proportionate share of the cumulative amount of the exchange differences recognised in other comprehensive income.

Disclosure

An entity shall disclose:

(a) the amount of exchange differences recognised in profit or loss except for those arising on financial instruments measured at fair value through profit or loss in accordance with IFRS 9; and
(b) net exchange differences recognised in other comprehensive income and accumulated in a separate component of equity, and a reconciliation of the amount of such exchange differences at the beginning and end of the period.

When the presentation currency is different from the functional currency, that fact shall be stated, together with disclosure of the functional currency and the reason for using a different presentation currency.

When there is a change in the functional currency of either the reporting entity or a significant foreign operation, that fact and the reason for the change in functional currency shall be disclosed.

When an entity presents its financial statements in a currency that is different from its functional currency, it shall describe the financial statements as complying with IFRSs only if they comply with all the requirements of IFRSs including the translation method set out in paragraphs 39 and 42.

When an entity displays its financial statements or other financial information in a currency that is different from either its functional currency or its presentation currency and the requirements of paragraph 55 are not met, it shall:

(a) clearly identify the information as supplementary information to distinguish it from the information that complies with IFRSs;
(b) disclose the currency in which the supplementary information is displayed; and
(c) disclose the entity’s functional currency and the method of translation used to determine the supplementary information.

Effective date and transition

An entity shall apply this Standard for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2005. Earlier application is encouraged.



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