Annual Report 2019

5 Financial Reporting of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities

Loans and Receivables

Loans and receivables are first recognized as incurred, other non-derivative financial assets as of the day of trading. The day of trading is the date on which Vonovia becomes a contracting party of the financial instrument. All financial instruments are initially measured at fair value, taking account of transaction costs. A financial asset is derecognized when the contractual rights to the cash flows from the financial asset expire, or the financial asset is transferred and Vonovia neither retains control nor retains material risks and rewards associated with ownership of the financial asset.

Loans and receivables are stated at amortized cost using the effective interest method.

Vonovia determines whether there is an objective indication of an impairment at the level of individual financial instruments if they are material, and, for financial instruments for which no impairments have been identified at the level of the individual financial instruments or such impairments are immaterial, grouped according to risk profile. Impairments are identified for individual financial instruments when the counterparty has defaulted or breached a contract or there are indications of risks of impairments due to a rating downgrade and general information (loss event). For groups of financial instruments with similar risks, historical default probabilities in relation to the time overdue are drawn upon (loss event). An impairment is calculated after the occurrence of a loss event as the difference between the carrying amount and the value of the discounted estimated future cash flow. The original effective interest rate is taken as the discount rate. Impairment losses are recognized with effect on net income and offset directly with the carrying amount of the financial instrument. Any interest income on impaired financial instruments is still recognized. If there are indications that the amount of the impairment loss will be smaller, this reduction is credited to the financial instrument affecting net income to the extent that the sum does not exceed the amortized cost that would have been recognized if the impairment had not occurred.

Derivative Financial Instruments

Derivative financial instruments are stated at their fair value on the day of trading when they are recognized for the first time. The fair values of the derivative financial instruments are calculated using standard market valuation methods for such instruments on the basis of the market data available on the valuation date.

With derivatives that are not designated as a hedging instrument in the balance sheet, changes in the fair value are recognized in profit or loss with effect on net income.

The changes to IFRS 9 relating to hedge accounting include, among other things, an expanded range of eligible hedged items, changes regarding the posting approach for certain undesignated value components of hedging instruments, the abolition of the fixed effectiveness ranges and retrospective effectiveness testing as well as the first-time introduction of “recalibration.” The less restrictive provisions compared with IAS 39 make it easier to reflect economic risk management in the balance sheet, which can, in turn, reduce artificial volatility in the income statement.

In general, the new provisions set out above will not have any impact on the Vonovia Group.

At the time of initial application of IFRS 9, Vonovia will opt to continue to apply the hedge accounting provisions set out in IAS 39 as opposed to the provisions of IFRS 9. Vonovia will apply this accounting method to all hedge relationships.

Contracts concluded for the purpose of receiving or supplying non-financial items in accordance with the company’s expected purchase, sale, or use requirements (own-use contracts) are not recognized as derivative financial instruments, but rather as pending transactions under IAS 37.

With derivatives designated as hedging instruments, the recognition of changes in the fair value depends on the type of hedge:

  • With a fair value hedge, the changes in the fair value of the derivative financial instruments and of the underlying hedged items attributable to the hedged risk are recognized affecting net income.
  • With a cash flow hedge, the unrealized gains and losses are initially recognized in other comprehensive income to the extent that the hedge is effective. Amounts accumulated in other comprehensive income are reclassified to the income statement at the same time the underlying hedged item affects net income. To the extent that the hedge is ineffective, the change in fair value is immediately recognized in net interest.

Embedded derivative financial instruments that are combined with a non-derivative financial instrument (host contract) to form a hybrid financial instrument are to be separated from the underlying contract pursuant to IFRS 9 as a general rule and accounted for separately if (i) its economic risks and characteristics are not closely related to those of the host contract, (ii) a separate instrument with the same terms as the embedded derivative would meet the definition of a derivative, and (iii) the hybrid instrument is not measured at fair value affecting net income with changes in fair value recognized in the income statement. As soon as the derivative is to be separated from its host contract, the individual components of the hybrid financial instrument are to be accounted for based on the provisions that apply to the individual financial instruments.

In order to measure interest rate swaps, future cash flows are calculated and then discounted. The calculated cash flows result from the contract conditions. The contract conditions regularly refer to the EURIBOR/STIBOR reference rates (3M and 6M EURIBOR/STIBOR). Discounting is based on market interest rate data as of the reporting date for comparable instruments (EURIBOR/STIBOR rate of the same tenor). The fair value contains the credit risk of the interest rate swaps and therefore allows for adjustments for the company’s own credit risk or for the counterparty credit risk.

To measure the cross currency swaps, future cash flows are calculated and then discounted. The calculated cash flows result from the contract conditions and the USD forward rates (development of exchange rates expected by the market). Discounting is based on market interest rate data as of the reporting date for comparable instruments (EURIBOR rate of the same tenor). The fair value contains the credit risk of the cross currency swaps and therefore allows for adjustments for the company’s own credit risk or for the counterparty credit risk.

Equity Instruments to Be Recognized at Fair Value in Other Comprehensive Income

In general, the equity instruments to be recognized at fair value in other comprehensive income are shares in companies that were acquired with long-term strategic intentions.

These equity instruments to be recognized at fair value under other comprehensive income are initially stated at their fair value, plus the directly attributable transaction costs. Subsequent measurement is at fair value as a general rule. Changes in the fair value are recognized in other comprehensive income.

The fair value of equity instruments to be recognized at fair value under other comprehensive income is based on quoted market prices as of the reporting date. If these equity instruments are derecognized, the cumulative gain or loss recognized under other comprehensive income is transferred to retained earnings, not affecting net income. Interest on interest-bearing financial instruments of this category is calculated using the effective interest method. Dividends on equity instruments in this category are shown in the income statement.

Rating
Classification of debtors or securities with regard to their creditworthiness or credit quality according to credit ratings. The classification is generally performed by rating agencies.
Fair Value
Fair value is particularly relevant with regard to valuation in accordance with IAS 40 in conjunction with IFRS 13. The fair value is the amount for which an asset could be exchanged between knowledgeable, willing parties in an arm’s length transaction.