EU faces Japanese delisting threat

Link: Compass assesses impact of IFRS

Japanese government officials and bankers claim high profile Japanese companies with stocks trading on EU exchanges could delist if the European Commission decide next year to force them to account under international financial reporting standards, reported The Financial Times.

From 1 January 2005 all European listed companies are required to fill their accounts using IFRS.

Naohiko Matsuo, director for international financial markets at Japan’s Financial Service Agency, said: ‘Companies are saying they would not change to international accounting standards because of the cost … they would have to start checking through lots of little chits from the past.’

‘Companies really dislike the whole idea … if Japanese standards are rejected, there is a real possibility that some will pull their stock listings,’ an investment banker at a US bank in Tokyo.

The FT pinpointed a direct threat to the London Stock Exchange where companies such as Fujitsu, All Nippon Airways and Kirin Brewery are listed.

But for the first-half financial period, ended September 30, 2004 Fujitsu states in its accounts: ‘We are currently moving forward with preparations for the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and plan to finalise the time-frame and methodology for making this transition.’

Japanese standards-setters have played an internal role in the development of IFRS. Tatsumi Yamada fromer partner of ChuoAoyama Audit Corporation (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Japan is one of the 14 board members of the International Accounting Standards Board.

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