China Evergrande Group, the Hong Kong-listed property company, was ordered by a Hong Kong court to liquidate this month. With more than US$300 billion in liabilities, it is the world’s most indebted developer. Judge Linda Chan delivered the ruling after the company failed to convince the court it had a viable restructuring plan after a 18-month long hearing. Alvarez & Marsal were appointed by the court as the liquidator of the company.
The percentage decrease in the number of graduates earning an accounting bachelor’s degree in the 2021 to 2022 academic year in the United States, according to the American Institute of CPAs. It marks another sharp drop after a decline of 2.8 percent a year before. The U.S., like many countries, is facing a shortage of young people joining the accounting profession.
What the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs estimates Hong Kong’s fiscal deficit will be in 2023/24 financial year, due to falling land sales, weaker economic growth and lower stamp duty income from the stock and property markets. The Institute predicts the government will have reserves of about HK$707 billion by the end of March, the equivalent of 11 months’ worth of expenditure.
What KPMG forecasts Hong Kong IPO proceeds to reach in 2024, from an estimated 90 new listings. This would mark a recovery from 2023, a year in which HK$46.3 billion was raised through 70 IPOs. The firm cited listing reforms that would pave the way for specialist technology companies and smaller companies from the Greater Bay Area to raise funds on Hong Kong’s stock market.
The shortage of skilled accounting professionals in South Africa according to the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). According to the country’s accounting body, from 2021 to 2022 there was a decline of 24 percent in the number of candidates taking the Initial Test of Competence, the first of two SAICA qualifying examinations.
The amount that PwC Hong Kong and PwC China agreed to pay the U.S.’s Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in a settlement over claims that more than 1,000 of the firms’ employees cheated in online exams on U.S. accounting standards between 2018 and 2020. The regulator said the firms “failed to detect or prevent extensive, improper answer sharing.” The firms agreed to the settlement, without admitting or denying the claims.
The percentage of Hong Kong-listed companies that have voluntarily sought external assurance on ESG reporting, according to the Institute’s survey of 1,882 respondents. This is an increase from 4.5 percent when a similar survey was carried out two year earlier in 2021. Read more about the findings of the report and the evolving field of ESG assurance here.
The total amount in penalties issued by the U.S.’s PCAOB in 2023, almost doubling its record set in 2022. The regulator that oversees the audits of U.S.-listed companies has stepped up enforcement actions against the Big Four and other firms including ones based in Mainland China and Hong Kong.
The number of FTSE 100 businesses that changed their chief financial officer in 2023, the most since at least 2013. Meanwhile, CFO turnover remained high at 17 percent across big European markets and the S&P 500, according to research by leadership advisory firm Russell Reynolds. The Financial Times reported that some of last year’s turnover was due to a rising enthusiasm for promoting CFOs to chief executive or chief operating officer in preparation for the CEO role.