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Introduction to IAS 32 - Financial Instruments: Presentation


Scope

This Standard shall be applied by all entities to all types of financial instruments except:

(a) those interests in subsidiaries, associates or joint ventures that are accounted for in accordance with IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements, IAS 27 Separate Financial Statements or IAS 28
Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures. However, in some cases,
IAS 27 or IAS 28 permits an entity to account for an interest in a subsidiary, associate or joint venture using IFRS 9; in those cases, entities shall apply the requirements of this Standard. Entities shall also apply this Standard to all derivatives linked to interests in subsidiaries, associates or joint ventures.
(b) employers’ rights and obligations under employee benefit plans, to which IAS 19 Employee Benefits applies.
(c) insurance contracts as defined in IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts.
However, this Standard applies to derivatives that are embedded in insurance contracts if IFRS 9 requires the entity to account for them separately. Moreover, an issuer shall apply this Standard to financial guarantee contracts if the issuer applies IFRS 9 in recognising and measuring the contracts, but shall apply IFRS 4 if the issuer elects, in accordance with paragraph 4(d) of IFRS 4, to apply IFRS 4 in recognising and measuring them.
(d) financial instruments that are within the scope of IFRS 4 because they contain a discretionary participation feature.
(f) financial instruments, contracts and obligations under share-based payment transactions to which IFRS 2 Share-based Payment applies.

This Standard shall be applied to those contracts to buy or sell a non-financial item that can be settled net in cash or another financial instrument, or by exchanging financial instruments, as if the contracts were financial instruments, with the exception of contracts that were entered into and continue to be held for the purpose of the receipt or delivery of a non-financial item in accordance with the entity’s expected purchase, sale or usage requirements.

Presentation

The issuer of a financial instrument shall classify the instrument, or its component parts, on initial recognition as a financial liability, a financial asset or an equity instrument in accordance with the substance of the contractual arrangement and the definitions of a financial liability, a financial asset and an equity instrument.

Puttable instruments

A puttable financial instrument includes a contractual obligation for the issuer to repurchase or redeem that instrument for cash or another financial asset on exercise of the put. As an exception to the definition of a financial liability, an instrument that includes such an obligation is classified as an equity instrument if it has all the following features:

Instruments, or components of instruments, that impose on the entity an obligation to deliver to another party a pro rata share of the net assets of the entity only on liquidation

Some financial instruments include a contractual obligation for the issuing entity to deliver to another entity a pro rata share of its net assets only on liquidation. The obligation arises because liquidation either is certain to occur and outside the control of the entity (for example, a limited life entity) or is uncertain to occur but is at the option of the instrument holder. As an exception to the definition of a financial liability, an instrument that includes such an obligation is classified as an equity instrument if it has all the following features:

(a) It entitles the holder to a pro rata share of the entity’s net assets in the event of the entity’s liquidation. The entity’s net assets are those assets that remain after deducting all other claims on its assets. A pro rata share is determined by:
(i) dividing the net assets of the entity on liquidation into units of equal amount; and
(ii) multiplying that amount by the number of the units held by the financial instrument holder.
(b) The instrument is in the class of instruments that is subordinate to all other classes of instruments. To be in such a class the instrument:
(i) has no priority over other claims to the assets of the entity on liquidation, and
(ii) does not need to be converted into another instrument before it is in the class of instruments that is subordinate to all other classes of instruments.
(c) All financial instruments in the class of instruments that is subordinate to all other classes of instruments must have an identical contractual obligation for the issuing entity to deliver a pro rata share of its net assets on liquidation.

Reclassification of puttable instruments and instruments that impose on the entity an obligation to deliver to another party a pro rata share of the net assets of the entity only on liquidation

An entity shall classify a financial instrument as an equity instrument in accordance with paragraphs 16A and 16B or paragraphs 16C and 16D from the date when the instrument has all the features and meets the conditions set out in those paragraphs. An entity shall reclassify a financial instrument from the date when the instrument ceases to have all the features or meet all the conditions set out in those paragraphs. For example, if an entity redeems all its issued non-puttable instruments and any puttable instrument that remain outstanding have all the features and meet all the conditions in paragraphs 16A and 16B, the entity shall reclassify the puttable instruments as equity instruments from the date when it redeems the non-puttable instruments.

No contractual obligation to deliver cash or another financial asset

With the exception of the circumstances described in paragraphs 16A and 16B or paragraphs 16C and 16D, a critical feature in differentiating a financial liability from an equity instrument is the existence of a contractual obligation of one party to the financial instrument (the issuer) either to deliver cash or another financial asset to the other party (the holder) or to exchange financial assets or financial liabilities with the holder under conditions that are potentially unfavourable to the issuer. Although the holder of an equity instrument may be entitled to receive a pro rata share of any dividends or other distributions of equity, the issuer does not have a contractual obligation to make such distributions because it cannot be required to deliver cash or another financial asset to another party.

If an entity does not have an unconditional right to avoid delivering cash or another financial asset to settle a contractual obligation, the obligation meets the definition of a financial liability, except for those instruments classified as equity instruments.

(a) a restriction on the ability of an entity to satisfy a contractual obligation, such as lack of access to foreign currency or the need to obtain approval for payment from a regulatory authority, does not negate the entity’s contractual obligation or the holder’s contractual right under the instrument.

(b) a contractual obligation that is conditional on a counterparty exercising its right to redeem is a financial liability because the entity does not have the unconditional right to avoid delivering cash or another financial asset.

A financial instrument that does not explicitly establish a contractual obligation to deliver cash or another financial asset may establish an obligation indirectly through its terms and conditions. For example:

(a) a financial instrument may contain a non-financial obligation that must be settled if, and only if, the entity fails to make distributions or to redeem the instrument. If the entity can avoid a transfer of cash or another financial asset only by settling the non-financial obligation, the financial instrument is a financial liability.

(b) a financial instrument is a financial liability if it provides that on settlement the entity will deliver either:
(i) cash or another financial asset; or
(ii) its own shares whose value is determined to exceed substantially the value of the cash or other financial asset.

Although the entity does not have an explicit contractual obligation to deliver cash or another financial asset, the value of the share settlement alternative is such that the entity will settle in cash. In any event, the holder has in substance been guaranteed receipt of an amount that is at least equal to the cash settlement option (see paragraph 21).

Settlement in the entity’s own equity instruments

A contract is not an equity instrument solely because it may result in the receipt or delivery of the entity’s own equity instruments. An entity may have a contractual right or obligation to receive or deliver a number of its own shares or other equity instruments that varies so that the fair value of the entity’s own equity instruments to be received or delivered equals the amount of the contractual right or obligation. Such a contractual right or obligation may be for a fixed amount or an amount that fluctuates in part or in full in response to changes in a variable other than the market price of the entity’s own equity instruments (eg an interest rate, a commodity price or a financial instrument price).

Contingent settlement provisions

A financial instrument may require the entity to deliver cash or another financial asset, or otherwise to settle it in such a way that it would be a financial liability, in the event of the occurrence or non-occurrence of uncertain future events (or on the outcome of uncertain circumstances) that are beyond the control of both the issuer and the holder of the instrument, such as a change in a stock market index, consumer price index, interest rate or taxation requirements, or the issuer’s future revenues, net income or debt-to-equity ratio. The issuer of such an instrument does not have the unconditional right to avoid delivering cash or another financial asset (or otherwise to settle it in such a way that it would be a financial liability). Therefore, it is a financial liability of the issuer unless:

(a) the part of the contingent settlement provision that could require settlement in cash or another financial asset (or otherwise in such a way that it would be a financial liability) is not genuine;

(b) the issuer can be required to settle the obligation in cash or another financial asset (or otherwise to settle it in such a way that it would be a financial liability) only in the event of liquidation of the issuer; or

(c) the instrument has all the features and meets the conditions in paragraphs 16A and 16B.

Settlement options

When a derivative financial instrument gives one party a choice over how it is settled (eg the issuer or the holder can choose settlement net in cash or by exchanging shares for cash), it is a financial asset or a financial liability unless all of the settlement alternatives would result in it being an equity instrument.

Compound financial instruments

The issuer of a non-derivative financial instrument shall evaluate the terms of the financial instrument to determine whether it contains both a liability and an equity component. Such components shall be classified separately as financial liabilities, financial assets or equity instruments in accordance with paragraph 15.

Treasury shares

If an entity reacquires its own equity instruments, those instruments (‘treasury shares’) shall be deducted from equity. No gain or loss shall be recognised in profit or loss on the purchase, sale, issue or cancellation of an entity’s own equity instruments. Such treasury shares may be acquired and held by the entity or by other members of the consolidated group. Consideration paid or received shall be recognised directly in equity.

Interest, dividends, losses and gains

Interest, dividends, losses and gains relating to a financial instrument or a component that is a financial liability shall be recognised as income or expense in profit or loss. Distributions to holders of an equity instrument shall be recognised by the entity directly in equity. Transaction costs of an equity transaction shall be accounted for as a deduction from equity.

Offsetting a financial asset and a financial liability

A financial asset and a financial liability shall be offset and the net amount presented in the statement of financial position when, and only when, an entity:
(a) currently has a legally enforceable right to set off the recognised amounts; and
(b) intends either to settle on a net basis, or to realise the asset and settle the liability simultaneously.

Effective date

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



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