The information quality of derivative disclosure in corporate annual reports of Australian firms in the extractive industries

Hassan, Mohamat Sabri (2004) The information quality of derivative disclosure in corporate annual reports of Australian firms in the extractive industries. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Recent events in the business world have focused attention on the importance of high quality financial reporting. Of particular interest is where the collapse of prominent companies such as Baring Plc. was due to the company's involvement with derivative instruments. In Australia, some derivative instruments are not recognised in the balance sheet. However, the Australian accounting standard AASB 1033 Presentation and Disclosure of Financial Instruments requires extensive disclosures to overcome the lack of guidance with regard to the recognition and measurement. Therefore, AASB 1033 may be regarded as a high quality disclosure standard.

This thesis investigates the transparency or information quality of derivative disclosures of Australian firms in the extractive industries using 1998 to 2001 financial reports. The extractive industries play a major role in the Australian economy, where they generated exports worth more than A$30billion in 2000 to 2002 (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2003a and 2003b). Further, firms in the extractive industries extensively use derivative instruments for hedging purposes (Berkman, Bradbury, Hancock and Innes, 1997). The objective of this study is, first, to examine the relationship between the transparency or disclosure quality of derivative information and firm characteristics. Second, this study investigates the value relevance of derivative disclosures in particularly hedge information, net fair value information and risk information. Quality is measured based on a disclosure index developed from AASB 1033 Presentation and Disclosure of Financial Instruments. A finding of concern is that the majority of firms in this study provide less than complete information and therefore enforcement power is required to ensure compliance (Kothari, 2000)

Prior studies have related disclosure quality of accounting information with firm characteristics but no attempt has been made to relate those characteristics with the disclosure quality of derivative instruments. The current study contributes to the literature by examining the relationship between firm characteristics and the quality of derivative disclosures. Firm characteristics investigated are size, profitability, price-earnings ratio, market-to-book ratio, research and development activity, auditor, debt-to-equity ratio and type of extractive firm. This study finds that the variables, firm size, price-earnings and debt-to-equity ratios are associated with the disclosure quality of derivative information. To a lesser extent, the variables, market-to-book ratio and profitability, are also associated with disclosure quality.

High disclosure quality has been argued to lead to a reduction in the cost of debt (Sengupta, 1998) and equity (Botosan, 1997), resulting in higher security prices (Miller and Bahnson, 2002). The results of this study indicate that high quality derivative information, as represented by the disclosure index, is value relevant. Market participants do consider hedge information and risk information components as important for decision-making. However, examining the specific information disclosed in the financial statements indicate that some of the disclosed information such as the unrealised gain or loss on financial assets and liabilities and off-balance sheet derivative financial instruments are not significant.

These results contribute to the value relevance literature as this study focuses on the extractive industries which have been neglected in the literature. This study provides important information for standard setters and regulators for future directions in developing accounting standards and is particularly relevant for the impending adoption of International Accounting Standards.

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ID Code: 15962
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Percy, Majella & Willett, Roger
Keywords: Disclosure quality, transparency, disclosure index, financial instruments, derivative instruments, market value, extractives industries.
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Department: Faculty of Business
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Mohamat Sabri Hassan
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:54
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:41

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