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Making information available to shareholders and investors

24.06.2008
In view of the recent collapse of firms through derivative use, shareholders and potential investors need to know what to look for in the annual reports of firms in which they have an interest.

The annual report is the only document that has been put in the public domain from which members of the public can know whether their firms have indeed been using derivatives to manage risk or to speculate.

However, many firms are not disclosing the information required by shareholders in order to be able to observe the hedging process i.e. what managers do with derivatives.

Knowing what to look for in companies’ annual reports will help shareholders to be able to make rational economic decisions of which companies’ shares they should invest in.

This project is investigating the impact of recent changes in international reporting standards that demand some disclosure in the accounts of a firm's use of derivative products.

Liafisu Sina Yekini, a PhD student working on the Leicester research project, explained: “Large firms in the UK use complex financial instruments called derivatives to manage/hedge financial risks they face.

“Shareholders invest in firms because they expect some benefits in shareholding in the firms. These benefits are either in form of increased market value of the shares of these companies or in form of income derivable from profit made by them.

“In a nut shell, shareholders expect their firms to be a ‘growth’ as well as ‘income’ generating firms.

“Recent happenings in organisations have made the above the ideal or the theoretical expectations of shareholders who have invested their savings in the purchase of the shares in these firms.

“Shareholders must therefore know that by investing in the shares of these companies they are linking their financial wealth or indeed financial bankruptcy/liquidation with that of these firms.

“Managers undertake various decisions on behalf of the shareholders in firms in their attempt to achieve the firms’ objective explained above. One of such decisions is how to manage the risk that firms face."

A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Sina Yekini qualified with Arthur Andersen and Co after which he joined the banking industry for a period of more than 10 years, mostly at management level.

Following his exposure both in practice and in the banking industry, Sina decided to explore issues that are controversial between theory and practice of accounting and finance, hence his enrolment with the University of Leicester for MSc in finance and now Ph D in accounting and finance (on going). He had earlier graduated with B. Sc in Accounting in 1988.

His research interest can be broadly grouped around risk management, foreign currency derivatives, the hedging process, information asymmetry and the accounting regulation.

The research is being presented to the public at the University of Leicester on Thursday 26th June. The Festival of Postgraduate Research introduces employers and the public to the next generation of innovators and cutting-edge researchers, and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to explain the real world implications of their research to a wide ranging audience.

More information about the Festival of Postgraduate Research is available at: www.le.ac.uk/gradschool/festival

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk/gradschool/festival

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