The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has today released a Public Statement on the implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on half-yearly financial reports.
ESMA recognises the human cost of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, and the significant challenges to business activities and effects on the global economic and financial system posed by the invasion. The statement, with the aim of promoting investor protection, provides overarching messages to issuers and auditors including:
- A reminder of the main IFRS requirements which may be applicable in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine e.g., impairment of non-financial and financial assets, and loss of control;
- ESMA’s expectations regarding disclosures in financial statements e.g., judgements made, significant uncertainties, and going concern risks;
- ESMA’s expectations regarding disclosures in interim management reports e.g., direct and indirect impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and imposed sanctions on issuers’ strategic orientation and targets, operations, financial performance, financial position and cash-flows, measures taken to mitigate the impacts, and cybersecurity risks; and
- A reminder of issuers’ obligations vis-à-vis the Market Abuse Regulation.
ESMA expects issuers (management and supervisory bodies) and their auditors to consider the messages of the statement when preparing and, where applicable, reviewing interim financial reports.
ESMA and the European enforcers will focus on ensuring that adequate transparency is provided regarding the impacts and implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in financial information published by European issuers.