The IFRS Interpretations Committee (Committee) discussed the following matter and tentatively decided not to add a standard-setting project to the work plan. The Committee will reconsider this tentative decision, including the reasons for not adding a standard-setting project, at a future meeting. The Committee invites comments on the tentative agenda decision. All comments will be on the public record and posted on our website unless a respondent requests confidentiality and we grant that request. We do not normally grant such requests unless they are supported by good reason, for example, commercial confidence.
The Committee received a request about the application of IAS 32 in relation to the reclassification of warrants. Specifically, the request described a warrant that provides the holder with the right to buy a fixed number of equity instruments of the issuer of the warrant for an exercise price that will be fixed at a future date. At initial recognition, because of the variability in the exercise price, the issuer in applying paragraph 16 of IAS 32 classifies these instruments as financial liabilities. This is because for a derivative financial instrument to be classified as equity, it must be settled by the issuer exchanging a fixed amount of cash or another financial asset for a fixed number of its own equity instruments (‘fixed-for-fixed condition’). The request asked whether the issuer reclassifies the warrant as an equity instrument following the fixing of the warrant’s exercise price after initial recognition as specified in the contract, given that the fixed-for-fixed condition would at that stage be met.
The Committee observed that IAS 32 contains no general requirements for reclassifying financial liabilities and equity instruments after initial recognition when the instrument’s contractual terms are unchanged. The Committee acknowledged that similar questions about reclassification arise in other circumstances. Reclassification by the issuer has been identified as one of the practice issues the Board will consider addressing in its Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity (FICE) project. The Committee concluded that the matter described in the request is, in isolation, too narrow for the Board or the Committee to address in a cost-effective manner. Instead, the Board should consider the matter as part of its broader discussions on the FICE project. For these reasons, the Committee [decided] not to add a standard-setting project to the work plan.
The deadline for commenting on the tentative agenda decision is 24 May 2021. The Committee will consider all comments received in writing by that date; agenda papers analysing comments received will include analysis only of comments received by that date.