IAS 32 para AG 26, hybrid bonds treated as equity, terms and conditions

Ørsted A/S – Annual report – 31 December 2017

Industry: utilities, energy

6.3 Hybrid capital


We have issued hybrid capital which is subordinate to our other creditors. The purpose of issuing hybrid capital is to strengthen our capital base and fund our investments. In the European capital markets, we have issued EUR hybrid bonds with a total nominal value of DKK 17,125 million (EUR 2,300 million).

In 2017, we issued a further hybrid bond at a nominal value of EUR 500 million which is classified as equity. In addition, in 2017, we decided to redeem the hybrid bond maturing in July 3013 at par at the first redemption date on 8 July 2018. This hybrid bond is therefore reclassified to loans and borrowings.

For hybrid bonds, we may defer coupon payments to bond holders and ultimately decide not to pay them. Deferred coupon payments become payable, however, if we decide to pay dividends to our shareholders or pay coupon payments on another hybrid bond.

As a consequence of the special terms attaching to the hybrid bonds, these are classified as equity, and coupon payments are therefore recognised in equity.

Accounting policies

Hybrid capital comprises issued bonds that qualify for treatment in accordance with the rules on compound financial instruments due to the special characteristics of the loan. The notional amount, which constitutes a liability, is recognised at present value, and equity has been increased by the difference between the net proceeds received and the present value of the discounted liability. Accordingly, any coupon payments are accounted for as dividends, which are recognised directly in equity at the time the payment obligation arises. This is because coupon is discretionary, and any deferred coupon therefore lapses upon maturity of the hybrid capital. Coupon payments consequently do not have any effect on profit (loss) for the year.

The part of the hybrid capital that is accounted for as a liability is measured at amortised cost. However, as the carrying amount of this component amounted to nil on initial recognition, and because of the 1,000-year term of the hybrid capital, amortisation charges will only impact on profit (loss) for the year towards the end of the 1,000-year term of the hybrid capital. Coupon payments are recognised in the statement of cash flows in the same way as dividend payments within financing activities.

On redemption of the hybrid capital, the payment will be distributed between the liability and equity applying the same principles as used when the hybrid capital was issued. This means that the difference between the payment on redemption and the net proceeds received on issue is recognised directly in equity as the debt portion of the existing hybrid issues will be nil during the first part of the life of the hybrid capital.

On the date on which the Board of Directors decides to exercise an option to redeem the hybrid capital, the part of the hybrid capital that will be redeemed will be reclassified to loans and borrowings. The reclassification will be made at the market value of the hybrid capital at the date the decision is made. Coupon payments and exchange rate adjustments following the reclassification to loans and borrowings will be recognised in profit (loss) for the year as financial income or expenses.