News & Views

COVID-19 – Valuation and Market Update (30 June)

The first half of 2020 has been full of unexpected events.  COVID-19 has already infected more than 13 million people worldwide, and social distance measures have brought global economic activities to a halt. Other events, such as the oil price crash and the new wave of secondary listing in Hong Kong, further made the market to be extremely volatile.

Given the fluid nature of the pandemic, different stakeholders and practitioners in the business world are facing unprecedented challenges. Various regulators and industry organisations, including SFC, HKEX and IFRS Foundation hence published an amount of new guidance and technical notes, aiming to expand the regulatory focus amid economic uncertainties and market volatilities.

Cybersecurity preparedness in time of COVID-19

The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has posed a huge change in many aspects, for instance, remote working has become a trend to reduce the spread of virus. This has provided insights for company’s management and board on cybersecurity preparedness. Regardless of company size, IT expenditure is unavoidable in order to maintain operations during the crisis. The related cybersecurity investment due to regulatory and compliance measures have since increased.  Most companies are caught off guard by the coronavirus. On one hand company’s computing resources are limited to support remote working, at the same time employees in general have not subscribed adequate firewall protection and antivirus packages to work remotely on their personal computers. With remote working becoming the new norm for companies worldwide amid the COVID-19 crisis, cybersecurity is even more crucial than before to support thousands of workers working from home accessing their companies’ networks.

Desktop Valuations - Solution to travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus?

Since late January 2020, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus has grasped the headlines of various media outlets across the globe. Big businesses in the PRC are either temporarily shutting down stores or advising staff to work from home. As a range of PRC companies listed in Hong Kong have been severely affected by the virus, on 30 January 2020, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (HKEX) released a joint statement to remind all Hong Kong listed companies to inform the Exchange about how their businesses have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus1. Most PRC based listed companies have financial year ends on 31 December, and January through March is their busy period for the preparation of annual reports. However, current travel restrictions to and from PRC and Hong Kong have posed huge challenges for external auditors and also valuers, who often need to conduct on-site inspections and management interview for their work.
 

Financial Due Diligence and Audit, is it just a title difference?

While financial performance is one of the grave concerns to an investor, which financial performance measure to look at has always been a challenge for investors.  Many would opt to start in tandem with audited financial statements as these are well governed with detailed verification work. However, we should not therefore extrapolate and conclude that audited financial statements are sufficient for making the right investment choice.

 

Moore Hong Kong Special Work arrangement under threat of Novel Coronavirus

We are here to inform you that even though our office will be tentatively closed until 9 February 2020, to align with our Government’s recommendation, our strong and united teams are here to continue to deliver the same exceptional service and quality work to our clients. We will constantly review the situation and adopt the best arrangement to benefit our clients and of course, our staff.  Health and safety of the community remains our top priority.  

Valuation Guidelines for Private Equity and Venture Capital

In response to the increasing demands for building consensus within the valuation industry, various valuation guidelines have been developed to suit different purposes, and to caterdifferent needs. Among them the International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation (IPEV) Guidelines and International Valuation Standards (IVS) are two of the most widely adopted standards in the private equity investments and accounting practices respectively.

ANDY ARMANINO TO SUCCEED RICHARD MOORE AS MOORE GLOBAL CHAIRMAN

After 15 years as Chairman of the leading international accountancy and consulting network, Moore Stephens International, now Moore Global, Richard Moore today announced his decision to step down at the end of 2019. 

Andy Armanino will succeed Richard as Chairman of Moore Global from 1 January 2020. Andy is currently a member of Moore Global’s board and until 1 January 2019 was CEO and Managing Partner of Armanino LLP.

Due diligence by external consultants plays a crucial role in merger & acquisitions

On 4 July 2019, the SFC of Hong Kong issued the “Statement on the Conduct and Duties of Directors when Considering Corporate Acquisitions or Disposals”, reiterating the importance of independent professional valuations in relation to the fiduciary duties of the directors of public companies in their planned acquisitions or disposals. The authority particularly points out the importance of due diligence, which is an area that many valuation practitioners in Hong Kong do not possess the relevant expertise nor resources to advise and work on.
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