NEWS RELEASE 04/30/03

FASB Issues Standard That Amends and Clarifies Accounting Guidance on Derivatives

Norwalk, CT, April 30, 2003—Today the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Statement No. 149, Amendment of Statement 133 on Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities. The Statement amends and clarifies accounting for derivative instruments, including certain derivative instruments embedded in other contracts, and for hedging activities under Statement 133.

The new guidance amends Statement 133 for decisions made:

  • as part of the Derivatives Implementation Group process that effectively required amendments to Statement 133,

     

  • in connection with other Board projects dealing with financial instruments, and

     

  • regarding implementation issues raised in relation to the application of the definition of a derivative, particularly regarding the meaning of an “underlying” and the characteristics of a derivative that contains financing components.

     

The amendments set forth in Statement 149 improve financial reporting by requiring that contracts with comparable characteristics be accounted for similarly. In particular, this Statement clarifies under what circumstances a contract with an initial net investment meets the characteristic of a derivative as discussed in Statement 133. In addition, it clarifies when a derivative contains a financing component that warrants special reporting in the statement of cash flows. Statement 149 amends certain other existing pronouncements. Those changes will result in more consistent reporting of contracts that are derivatives in their entirety or that contain embedded derivatives that warrant separate accounting.

Effective Dates and Order Information

This Statement is effective for contracts entered into or modified after June 30, 2003, except as stated below and for hedging relationships designated after June 30, 2003. The guidance should be applied prospectively.

The provisions of this Statement that relate to Statement 133 Implementation Issues that have been effective for fiscal quarters that began prior to June 15, 2003, should continue to be applied in accordance with their respective effective dates. In addition, certain provisions relating to forward purchases or sales of when-issued securities or other securities that do not yet exist, should be applied to existing contracts as well as new contracts entered into after June 30, 2003.

Copies of Statement 149 may be obtained through the FASB Order Department at 800-748-0659 or by placing an order on-line at the FASB website.

About the Financial Accounting Standards Board

Since 1973, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports and are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Such standards are essential to the efficient functioning of the economy because investors, creditors, auditors and others rely on credible, transparent and comparable financial information. For more information about the FASB, visit our website at www.fasb.org.

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