International valuation standards to cut risks

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 July, 2011, 12:00am


The International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC) yesterday published a new set of international valuation standards that come into effect from January next year.

The new standards were issued in response to recognition of the importance attached to global valuation standards by regulators around the world, it said, particularly after the global financial crisis in 2008.

To enhance transparency and strengthen investor confidence, the new standards would no longer be confined to property valuations, the IVSC said, but would seek to bring a greater order to financial architecture which was shown to be deficient in the financial crisis.

'The financial crisis led to further debate about the role and reliability of valuations and their impact on financial markets and now, more than ever, it is vital to standardise valuation across all business sectors in order to reduce inherent risk and to provide a consistent approach to portfolio and asset valuation,' said Nicholas Brooke, chairman of the Professional Property Services Group in Hong Kong.

'The key difference between the old and new standards is the removal of what might be described as a real estate bias,' added Brooke.

The original international valuation standards were largely concerned with real estate and therefore contained a strong property emphasis, although IVS also covered other asset classes for many years, he said.

But as was evident during the financial crisis, the issue of value was not confined to the real estate sector. The new standards contain separate provisions covering business as well as international valuation standards for financial instruments.

As regards the direct impact on Hong Kong public companies, most valued at least part of their real estate assets for balance sheet purposes each year and these valuations were usually undertaken by members of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS), which was a member organisation of the IVSC, he said.

The HKIS referred members to the standards and recommended their use when undertaking such valuations. It also recommended members adopt IVCS principles when undertaking valuations for initial public offerings of Hong Kong and mainland companies in Hong Kong.

'It is important, particularly in Hong Kong, the centre of many major international fund-raising initiatives, to bring greater confidence to the valuation process. Invariably these launches are founded on a range of assets and securities and the value of these is a key component of any capital raising,' Brooke said.