On 1 January 2009, the Dutch act implementing the EU Transparency Directive (2004/109/EC) (the "Dutch Act") came into force. The Dutch Act amends the Financial Markets Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht, the “FMSA”).
Open-end investment institutions do not fall within the scope of the Dutch Act and must (already), pursuant to the FMSA, publish their annual accounts and report within 4 months of the end of the financial year, where this term is now newly introduced for all listed companies.
Since 2004, a number of foreign closed-end investment institutions which are considered adequately supervised in their country of origin2 (notably permanent capital vehicles of private equity or hedge funds groups) have been listed on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. Of these adequately supervised funds (“ASFs”) a significant number are based in Guernsey, where they are allowed to report in US GAAP.
Until the introduction of the Dutch Act, in principle such closed-end investment institutions had to apply IFRS in their financial reports. This requirement has often been problematic, to the extent that IFRS is not the reporting standard in the relevant country of origin.
The Dutch Act now provides a wider basis for applying equivalent local GAAP instead of IFRS by certain closed-end non-Dutch investment institutions
Non-EEA issuers with the Netherlands as home member state, such as these NYSE Euronext Amsterdam listed Guernsey ASFs, are allowed to apply their local Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) instead of IFRS, if the European Committee has approved the application thereof. In such case, the local GAAP is considered to be equivalent to IFRS.
On 12 December 2008, the European Committee decided that as of 1 January 2009 non-EEA issuers may report in:
- IFRS adopted for use in the EU pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002;
- IFRS (as published by the International Accounting Standards Board);
- US GAAP or Japanese GAAP; or
- Canadian, Chinese, Indian or South Korean GAAP.
Transitory provisions for financial reporting
The new financial reporting rules take effect for financial years starting on or after 1 January 2008 and will not apply to the whole or part of any annual financial period which commenced before 1 January 2008.