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Public Statement on ‘Sovereign Debt in IFRS Financial Statements’ published by ESMA

Friday, 25th November, 2011: The European Securities and Markets Authority (‘ESMA’) has published a Public Statement, the purpose of which is to promote consistent application of International Financial Reporting Standards (‘IFRS’).


The Public Statement, which does not constitute guidance or recommendations on how to apply IFRS, discusses two aspects of accounting for sovereign debt:


  1. a discussion of financial reporting issues related to sovereign debt in 2011 IFRS annual financial statements; and
  2. ESMA’s Opinion ‘Accounting for Exposure to Greek Sovereign Debt – Considerations with respect to IFRS Interim Financial Statements for Accounting periods ended on 30 June 2011’  which summarises the results of the fact finding exercise together with elements that should have been considered by issuers and their auditors as part of the 2011 IFRS interim financial statements.

ESMA believes that the Opinion contains elements that are relevant to issuers and their auditors when preparing or auditing 2011 annual financial statements.