Financial Instruments & Fair Value
Group Chief Financial Officer
Middle East Policy Forum
12 November 2008
Global Financial Markets :
Stormy times ahead
Global banking assets bubble – how loud will be the burst ?
US Fed Funds rate 79
to 77trn ?
Re ern eak
Go + W
37 37 Cause
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Challenges in raising capital & funding in international markets will persist
Lower Fed rate has not resulted in lower costs of borrowing as credit spreads widen
The unwinding of the excesses of 2005-2007 will be long and painful
The challenges are systemic – pursuit of individual victories will by myopic
Note: Banking Assets data includes United States, Latin America, Western Europe, China, India & Japan 2
Revisiting the Standards
in stressed times
13 October 2008
IFRS 7 & IAS 39 : Rationale revisited
IFRS 7 : To require the entities to provide disclosures in their financial
statements that enable users to evaluate
a) the significance of financial instruments for the entity’s financial position
and performance; and
b) the nature and extent of risks arising from financial instruments to which the
entity is exposed during the period and at the reporting date, and how the
entity manages those risks.
IAS 39 : To establish principles for recognizing and measuring financial assets,
financial liabilities and some contracts to buy or sell non financial items.
Current times – an opportunity to test the effectiveness of
Standards under stress
IFRS vs. UK GAAP
Turmoil requires speedy response from rule makers [standards setters,
Reducing volatility vs. Deferring recognition of true value
Consistency of application : Adoption, Valuation models, etc.
Asset valuation : Potential deterrent to business combination
Hedge effectiveness…..how effective ?
Hedge accounting / effectiveness served well during normal times….
Hedges may not be effective now – creating additional volatility.
Stressed markets – is economic effectiveness now ineffective ?
Active markets…..are valuations reliable?
Fair value or ‘fire’ value ?
Reclassification : Relief in earnings volatility……but impairments may still be
Distressed transactions vs. distressed markets – Can orderly transactions take
place in a distressed and inactive market
Illiquid markets – widening gap between market value & intrinsic value
“Fair valuation accounting rules are flawed because they don’t describe how to
accurately determine the value of an asset in a distressed market”
- American Banking Association to SEC
Fair valuation…..assets & liabilities
Overarching mismatch between fair valuation of assets & liabilities
– Credit Suisse study claimed 34% of assets & 11% of liabilities are fair valued
Fair valuation of debt issued – widening credit spreads or becoming less
creditworthy can actually boost companies earnings (e.g. Lehman's Q3-2007)
Can a company monetize changes to fair value of its debt where there is ‘no doubt’
that the company will pay back the debt ?
Bull markets & fair valuation allowed us to create capital that never existed – Bear
markets have created situations where one has to raise physical capital to cover
reversal of gains that perhaps were never really there
Earnings volatility….self feeding prophecy !
Volatility & fair valuations – is this because of momentum traders rather than
fundamental traders ?
$ 1.2 trillion of US sub prime mortgages, with $ 300 billion provided by Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured banks and rest held by investors –
fair value, if not caused, accelerated the problem with write-down of illiquid
securities at fire sale prices compromising balance sheet and regulatory ratios
An infection which is potentially self-propagating
Credit Default Swaps :
The Derivative Chernobyl ?
5 year CDS spreads : On the run
ENBD Capital Structure
9/ 10 11 12 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10
20 /2 /2 /2 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 /2
/2 0 /2 0 /2 0 /2 /2 /2 /2 /2 /2 /2 /2 /2 /2 0/
00 0 0 0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 20
7 07 07 07 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 08
Spreads : Volatility, often with questionable credibility
Widening of spread could result in material write-downs in earnings
iTraxx Europe Index : Composed of 125 investment grade entities from 6 sectors: Autos, Consumers, Energy, Financials, Industrials, & TMT
iTraxx Europe Xover : Composed of 30 non financial sub investment grade entities 13
Credit Default Swaps…..
Notional amount of CDS outstanding fell from $ 62 trillion to under $ 55 trillion as
dealers worked to eliminate offsetting trades
Credit Default Swap market is not regulated making it difficult to estimate value of
outstanding contracts. Lehman exposure was originally estimated at $ 400 b –
however the actual exposure was $ 78 billion
AIG reported big losses due to writedown of several billion US$ on its CDS
Meltdown in CDS market has potentially wider ramifications than the subprime
crisis. If bond insurance disappears or becomes too costly, lenders will become
even more cautious about making loans. This will affect the amount & cost of
liquidity in the market.
CDS fair valuation with widening credit spreads – what is the real impact ?
Way Forward :
Searching for our Yellow
Key themes to draw
Mark to market is an important component of risk control.
Increased transparency – are we better off ?
Lack of consistent valuation standards, questionable valuation models and
veracity of valuation specialist – judgmental issues & lawsuits
Abandoning fair value in response to short term pressures will hurt long term
confidence – but, what is fair value ?
Volatility in earnings through distressed valuations detrimental to market
confidence; further contribute to downward spiral
Valuations = ‘Fire’ value vs. ‘Intrinsic’ value ?
The lessons have been learnt – it is time for standard setters & accountants to
help global economies weather the perfect storm
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