IASB to create advisory group

Bolkestein, who in his role as European commissioner for the internal market, taxation and customs union has responsibility for accounting issues, had suggested that a working group might have to reconsider the standards before approval is given for adoption by all listed companies in January 2005.

The IASB is still considering the sensitive issue of macro hedging - where a whole portfolio of different instruments is hedged on a net basis - but aims to agree on the IAS 39 standards at a meeting later this month. All international standards are due for final publication in March, but will not be adopted until approved by the European Commission.

On February 2, Bolkestein said the new group would discuss disputed sections of IAS 39 that have not been resolved by March. A report in the UK’s Financial Times newspaper suggested that possible members of the advisory group could include: Daniel Bouton, chairman of Société Générale, and John Tiner, chief executive of the UK Financial Services Authority, although the IASB said it was too early to say. "We are considering the form and mandate of such a group," said Wayne Upton, research director at IASB in London. It is also unlikely, given the nature of the standards as ‘international’, that there would be a Europe-only forum, he said.

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