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Nasdaq calls for convergence of accounting standards
April, 10th 2007
`Such measures will enable integration of markets'

Nasdaq has rooted for a convergence of accounting standards, a trend that is increasingly becoming evident in various forms across the globe.

The exchange, which appreciates that even the US has in recent times shown signs of accepting certain global standards on financial reporting, believes that such measures will enable the integration of markets, at least partially, in the days ahead.

Nasdaq, said Mr Ghanshyam Dass, MD, Asia Pacific, is aware that for all the corporate activity that takes place around the world, there are only 75,000 public companies at the moment. With more companies deciding to go public, the integration of standards will be of even greater importance, he added. He was addressing an interactive session at The Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Saturday.

High expectations

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is expected to help achieve comparability and consistency in various aspects of financial reporting, the exchange feels.

While standards are converging, a lot of expectation is building up around the world in terms of new listings. At the same time, it is acknowledged that the cost of raising capital, for the corporate sector, is not small in fact, it is a mostly an important element of a company's overall cost. Also, there are a number of secondary expenses; one of these is incurred by way of fees to regulatory agencies.

Listed companies, however, are duly `compensated' for the cost they are required to bear, thanks to the capital they manage to raise from the investing public.

As for new listings, the exchange has pointed out that since 1999, a good proportion of all companies that have done IPOs in the leading US bourses have chosen Nasdaq. It has also claimed that a number of companies listed on New York Stock Exchange are transferring to and listing their spin-offs on Nasdaq.

Numerous services

The exchange, Mr Dass noted, has offered a number of services. Nasdaq Corporate Services, for instance, is aimed at providing listed entities the power to maximise their effectiveness on various fronts risk management, corporate governance and investor relations.

As for investor relations, the idea is to empower the investment community through inputs like shareholder.com (for effective communication with investors), MetricStream (for public companies to better manage their compliance processes) and PrimeZone (known for press releases and photos).

The exchange further seeks to offer services like Nasdaq Online, a web-based surveillance tool for all listed company executives and board members, and Nasdaq Market Watch, which track stocks to ensure monitoring of trading irregularities.

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