European Parliament amends Directives to allow IAS 39

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17 May 2001

On 15 May, the European Parliament amended the 4th and 7th Directives (European laws) to require listed companies to follow IAS 39 by reporting certain financial assets and liabilities at fair value in their annual consolidated financial statements.

Member States would have the option of permitting non-listed companies also to adopt IAS 39. The amended Directives still must be approved by the European Council of Ministers, who will consider the matter on 31 May, and then enacted the Member State level. Banks and other financial institutions are not exempted from the amended Directives – Parliament modified the Commission's recommended legislation in this regard.

The legislation includes a number of differences with IAS 39. For instance, where IAS 39 allows companies to adopt a policy of reporting changes in fair values of available-for-sale financial instruments in net profit or loss or in equity, the European legislation allows member states to require that the value change be reported only in equity.

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