ECONOMY

Bank results as scheduled

Major banks are not considering postponing publishing their first-quarter results, despite the one-month grace period expected to be announced by the Capital Market Commission today to facilitate the transition of listed companies to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). There is no change in the banks’ plans, with at least the major ones announcing their Q1 accounting reports within May as normal. In the last few years, banks have systematically worked for their transition to the new accounting system and have completed the adjustments required, having also informed stock market authorities and foreign investors of their results’ publication date. It is certain that had banks delayed and postponed their quarterly results’ publication dates, it would have made a particularly bad impression since that would be interpreted by investors as a sign of weakness and uncertainty. Similar tactic are expected from other major listed companies. Along with the January-March results, the 2004 figures are also expected, based on IFRS, to provide comparability, one of the basic principles of the IFRS system. Although banks have announced that for all of the 2004 financial year the adjustment of profits to IFRS will not signify important changes, analysts note that from quarter to quarter we may see some clearer differences due to the serious changes IFRS bring. According to the banks’ planning, the Bank of Cyprus will publish its Q1 results on May 12, followed by Eurobank on May 19, Alpha Bank on May 25, and the National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank on May 26, while Emporiki Bank has not yet announced the date of publication of its results.