3. Significant accounting policies (continued)
Investments in associates
An associate is an entity over which the investor has significant influence and that is neither a subsidiary nor an interest in a joint venture. Significant influence is the power to participate in the financial and operating policy decisions of the investee but is not control or joint control over those policies.
The results and assets and liabilities of associates are incorporated in these consolidated financial statements using the equity method of accounting. Under the equity method, investments in associates are carried in the consolidated statement of financial position at cost as adjusted for post-acquisition changes in the Group’s share of the net assets of the associate, less any identified impairment loss. When the Group’s share of losses of an associate equals or exceeds its interest in that associate (which includes any long-term interests that, in substance, form part of the Group’s net investment in the associate), the Group discontinues recognising its share of further losses. An additional share of losses is provided for and a liability is recognised only to the extent that the Group has incurred legal or constructive obligations or made payments on behalf of that associate.
Where the Group’s investment in an associate previously classified as available-for-sale investment or held-for-trading financial assets (accounted for in accordance with HKAS 39), their carrying amounts at the date when significant influence is achieved become the deemed cost of such investment.
Any excess of the cost of acquisition over the Group’s share of the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities of the associate recognised at the date of acquisition is recognised as goodwill, which is included within the carrying amount of the investment.
Any excess of the Group’s share of the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities over the cost of acquisition, after reassessment, is recognised immediately in profit or loss.
The requirements of HKAS 39 are applied to determine whether it is necessary to recognise any impairment loss with respect to the Group’s investment in an associate. When necessary, the entire carrying amount of the investment (including goodwill) is tested for impairment in accordance with HKAS 36 “Impairment of Assets” as a single asset by comparing its recoverable amount (higher of value in use and fair value less costs to sell) with its carrying amount. Any impairment loss recognised forms part of the carrying amount of the investment. Any reversal of that impairment loss is recognised in accordance with HKAS 36 to the extent that the recoverable amount of the investment subsequently increases.
When a group entity transacts with its associate, profits or losses resulting from the transactions with the associate are recognised in the Group’s consolidated financial statements only to the extent of interests in the associate that are not related to the Group.
Annual Report 2010