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Currency devaluations – the effects on assets


Devaluation

Devaluation (Photo credit: ervega)

It is not that often that we as accountants face the problem of currency devaluations. We would have to be an accountant in a large global firm who has assets denominated in a foreign currency that is devalued. You know I am a management accountant, so I will leave the complex accounting standards up to the experts. In other words, I avoid the complex issues here.

Last February, the Venezuelan Bolivar was devalued by about 30%. The exchange rate was moved from 4.3 bolivars to one US dollar to 6.3 bolivars. So for example, if a company had assets worth 430,000 bolivars or $100,000, the value of these in $ terms is now $68,253 (4.3/6.3 x 100,000).  As Venezuela has many foreign investing companies, the balance sheet of these have been hit a little. For example, Irish paper and packaging company Smurfit Kappa saw its asset values fall by €142m – see here

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About martinjquinn

I am an accounting academic, accountant and author based near Dublin, Ireland.

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