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BusinessDay

IFRS challenge forces coys to delay FY’13 results submission

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A growing swarth of delays by many companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in releasing their 2013 financial results, in what is supposed to be an earnings release season, has been linked with challenges they are facing with implementing the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), BusinessDay has learnt.

It was further learnt that about 80 percent of listed companies on the NSE are having challenges preparing their results due to the new IFRS regime.

Our sources confirmed that 22 companies requested for time extensions to file their audited financial statements for the period ended December 31, 2013.

“After due consideration of the challenges that these companies have in the rendition of the accounts, the NSE has magnanimously granted ‘All Listed Companies’ one month grace to submit their accounts after their respective filing due dates,” our source stated.

Before now, the deadline for companies to submit their audited financials for year-ended December 31 was March 31 (about 90 days into every new year), after which they are subjected to penalties.

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Responding to BusinessDay enquiry, sources at the listing regulation department of the NSE said after much pressure from some companies, the NSE last Monday decided to alter its regulatory filing calendar.

The implication is that companies whose audited financial statements are for December 31, 2013 now have a grace period of up to April 31, 2014 to submit their results.

This has also affected companies’ Q1 financial statements (March 31). They now have a grace period of up to May 14. For Q2 financial statements (June 30), grace extends up to August 14, while for Q3 financial statements (September 30), they will now have up to November 14 to submit their financials.

Majority of these companies are in the financial services sub-sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, where only Zenith Bank plc, GTBank plc, Diamond Bank plc, UBA plc, FCMB Group plc, UBA Capital plc, Mansard Insurance plc, and Sterling Bank plc have submitted their results.

As at the time of filing this report, investors were still expecting the release of some scorecards, including those of Access Bank plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) plc, Fidelity Bank plc, Skye Bank plc, Union Bank plc, Unity Bank plc, Wema Bank plc, FBN Holdings plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings plc, among others. These companies’ scorecards traditionally serve as guidance for many investors who want to buy their shares.

“Most of the companies that requested for the extension are having foreign subsidiaries, some are Holdcos and some require the approval of their primary regulators, which sometimes is not easy to come by,” said our source at the NSE, who observed that seven banks have submitted their audited accounts for the period under consideration, that is, December 31, 2013.

Iheanyi Nwachukwu