IFRIC Issues Guidance on Extinguishing Financial Liabilities with Equity Instruments

The International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC), the interpretative arm of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), has issued an interpretation that provides guidance on how to account for the extinguishment of a financial liability by the issue of equity instruments. These transactions are often referred to as debt for equity swaps.


IFRIC Interpretation 19 Extinguishing Financial Liabilities with Equity Instruments clarifies the requirements of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) when an entity renegotiates the terms of a financial liability with its creditor and the creditor agrees to accept the entity’s shares or other equity instruments to settle the financial liability fully or partially.


IFRIC 19 clarifies that:

    * the entity’s equity instruments issued to a creditor are part of the consideration paid to extinguish the financial liability.
    * the equity instruments issued are measured at their fair value. If their fair value cannot be reliably measured, the equity instruments should be measured to reflect the fair value of the financial liability extinguished.
    * the difference between the carrying amount of the financial liability extinguished and the initial measurement amount of the equity instruments issued is included in the entity’s profit or loss for the period.


The interpretation is effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 July 2010 with earlier application permitted.


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