Tentative Agenda Decision—Determination of the exchange rate when there is a long-term lack of exchangeability (IAS 21)

 

The IFRS Interpretations Committee tentatively decided not to add this matter to its standard-setting agenda at its meeting in June 2018. The Committee will reconsider the following tentative agenda decision, including the reasons for not adding the matter to the standard-setting agenda, at a future meeting. The Committee encourages interested parties to submit their responses using the link below.

Tentative agenda decision

The Committee considered the determination of the exchange rate an entity uses to translate the results and financial position of a foreign operation into its presentation currency applying IAS 21. The Committee considered this matter in the following circumstances:

  1. the exchangeability of the foreign operation’s functional currency with other currencies is administered by jurisdictional authorities. This exchange mechanism incorporates the use of an exchange rate set by the authorities (official exchange rate).
  2. the foreign operation’s functional currency is subject to a long-term lack of exchangeability with other currencies––ie the exchangeability is not temporarily lacking as described in paragraph 26 of IAS 21 and has not been restored after the end of the reporting period.
  3. the lack of exchangeability with other currencies has resulted in the foreign operation being in effect unable to access foreign currencies using the exchange mechanism described in (a) above.

The Committee observed that those circumstances currently exist in Venezuela.

The Committee discussed whether, in those circumstances, an entity is required to use an official exchange rate in applying IAS 21.

The Committee observed that an entity translates the results and financial position of a foreign operation into its presentation currency applying the requirements in paragraphs 39 and 42 of IAS 21. Those paragraphs require an entity to translate:

  1. the assets and liabilities of the foreign operation at the closing rate; and
  2. income and expenses of the foreign operation at the exchange rates at the dates of the transactions if the functional currency of the foreign operation is not the currency of a hyperinflationary economy, or otherwise at the closing rate.

The closing rate and the rates at the dates of the transactions

Paragraph 8 of IAS 21 defines (a) the ‘closing rate’ as the spot exchange rate at the end of the reporting period; and (b) the ‘spot exchange rate’ as the exchange rate for immediate delivery. In the light of those definitions, the Committee concluded that the closing rate is the rate to which an entity would have access at the end of the reporting period through a legal exchange mechanism.

Accordingly, the Committee observed that in the circumstances described above an entity assesses whether the official exchange rate meets the definition of the closing rate—ie is it the rate to which the entity would have access at the end of the reporting period? Similarly, if the foreign operation’s functional currency is not the currency of a hyperinflationary economy, the entity also assesses whether the official exchange rate represents the exchange rates at the dates of the transactions in applying paragraph 39(b) of IAS 21.

Continuous assessment of facts and circumstances

In the circumstances described above, economic conditions are in general constantly evolving. Therefore, the Committee highlighted the importance of reassessing at each reporting date whether the official exchange rate meets the definition of the closing rate and, if applicable, the exchange rates at the dates of the transactions.

Disclosure requirements

An entity is required to provide information that is relevant to an understanding of an entity’s financial statements (paragraph 112 of IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements). The Committee highlighted the importance of disclosing relevant information in the circumstances described above. In particular, the Committee observed that the following disclosure requirements may be relevant to an understanding of an entity’s financial statements:

  1. significant accounting policies, and judgements made in applying those policies that have the most significant effect on the amounts recognised in the financial statements (paragraphs 117–124 of IAS 1);
  2. sources of estimation uncertainty that have a significant risk of resulting in a material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next financial year, which may include sensitivity analysis (paragraphs 125–133 of IAS 1); and
  3. the nature and extent of significant restrictions on an entity’s ability to access or use assets and settle liabilities of the group, or in relation to its joint ventures or associates (paragraphs 10, 13, 20 and 22 of IFRS 12 Disclosures of Interests in Other Entities).

The Committee concluded that the principles and requirements in IFRS Standards provide an adequate basis for an entity to assess whether, in the circumstances described above, it uses the official exchange rate to translate into its presentation currency the results and financial position of a foreign operation. Consequently, the Committee [decided] not to add this matter to its standard-setting agenda.

Deadline for submitting comment letters: 21 August 2018

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