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Expert Advisory Panel on Valuation of Financial Instruments in Inactive Markets

Date recorded:

The IASB staff noted that on 16 September 2008 it had released on the IASB Website a Draft Document reflecting the views of the IASB Expert Advisory Panel Measuring and disclosing the fair value of financial instruments in markets that are no longer active. 39 comment letters had been received: these had been broadly supportive but some had raised technical concerns.

In particular, in the measurement section, there was uncertainty about consistency between the EAP's paper and the comments of the US Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Chief Accountant released on 30 September and the related FASB staff position on FAS 157. The IASB staff has clarified (IASB Press Release 14 October 2008) that they are of the view that the documents are consistent. The staff will incorporate an example from the FASB Staff Position FSP FAS 157-3 issued on 10 October in the final IASB document that will be released later in October 2008.

The final staff guidance may be incorporated in future amendments to IFRS 7, but in the meantime it will have the status of a staff/educational document (IAS Plus comment: This statement would imply that it would be considered comparable to non-mandatory guidance (IAS 8.9)).

A Board member noted that the FASB staff had used, and been grateful for the work that the IASB's Expert Advisory panel had done and had taken comfort from the guidance that it had prepared when developing their own. In addition, he noted that the FASB staff had been impressed with the cooperation they had received from their IASB counterparts.

Board members asked the IASB staff to consider the responses to both the EAP's document and the FASB's Draft FSP 157-3 when developing the final IASB staff document. In particular, the comments from the CFA Institute that an orderly transaction in a stressed market was not a distressed sale should be reflected in the final guidance. If the seller has been able to attract bids from others, such a sale is an orderly sale. Transactions in a market might be infrequent, but if they are occurring, such transactions provide some evidence of current value. Board members noted that there would be areas in which the exercise of judgement was critical.

The staff noted that users of the document (preparers and auditors) were concerned about the status of the document. This will be addressed explicitly in the final document.

A Board member noted that recent communications from the Board had the potential to confuse rather than inform constituents. The press release on 14 October and that of 15 October accompanying the release of the Exposure Draft of proposed amendments to IFRS 7 seemed to be operating in parallel. The Director of Capital Markets agreed and acknowledged that there was a need to link the final staff document to the work on IFRS 7 and other matters.

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