The International Primary Market Association (IPMA) has warned that new debt securities must be listed before 10 December, 2003 to qualify for the very limited temporary exemptions for outstanding securities offered by the version of the Directive agreed by EU Finance Ministers in November. Issuers which have any equity or debt with denominations of under 50,000 euros listed in the EU when the Directive becomes effective, probably in 2005, will have to disclose financial information in accordance with international accounting and audit standards, said IPMA. Issuers which use other standards may have no alternative but to restate their accounts or de-list their securities. The association added that the European Commission has the option to recognise third country standards as ‘equivalent’ but has given no indication of whether or when it intends to do so, according to IPMA. The only way to avoid extensive de-listing of securities and losses to investors is for the Directive to include full grandfathering of outstanding securities. The text has yet to be approved by the European Parliament.
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