THE TRANSPARENCY OF DERIVATIVE DISCLOSURES BY AUSTRALIAN FIRMS IN THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES

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Mohamat Sabri Hassan, Majella Percy, Jenny Goodwin-Stewart

DOI:10.22495/cocv4i2c2p2

Abstract

This paper investigates the transparency of derivative disclosures of Australian firms in the extractive industries using 1998 to 2001 financial reports. The quality of financial reporting has become a major corporate governance issue since the collapse of prominent companies such as Enron in the United States, HIH Insurance in Australia, and, of particular relevance here, Barings PLC in the United Kingdom, where the losses were caused by derivative instruments. Disclosure transparency is an important component of the quality of financial reporting. We measure transparency based on a disclosure index developed from AASB 1033 Presentation and Disclosure of Financial Instruments. We examine the relationship between transparency and firm characteristics represented by size, performance, growth opportunities, auditor and type of extractive firm. The results indicate that the transparency of derivative disclosures among firms in the extractive industries has increased over the period. However, there is still evidence of non-compliance with the disclosure requirements, especially in relation to net fair value. We find that firm size, price-earnings ratio and debt-to-equity ratio, and to a lesser extent, market-to-book ratio and profitability are associated with disclosure transparency.

Keywords: Disclosure Quality; Transparency; Derivatives; Extractive Industries

How to cite this paper: Hassan, M. S., Percy, M., & Goodwin-Stewart, J. (2007). The transparency of derivative disclosures by Australian firms in the extractive industries. Corporate Ownership & Control, 4(2-2), 257-270. http://dx.doi.org/10.22495/cocv4i2c2p2