Stock Grant vs Stock Option

What is stock grant?
Company buys shares from open market and gives them to its staff according to an incentive programme.

What is stock option?
A company issues papers to its employees giving them the right to subscribe to shares of the company at a pre-determined price (usually below current market price) after a certain vesting period.

Both forms of incentive plan enable the company to motivate employees to achieve superior performance as well as to align the interests of employees and shareholders’.
Both costs of incentive plan have to be expensed off against profit.

Expenses incurred to do stock grant is tax deductible as per cash compensation to employees. Stock option expenses are NOT tax deductible.
Determination of cost for stock grant is more definitive. There has been constant debate over the valuation of stock options.

SIA, SembCorp Industries, SMRT and StarHub, are recent adopters that have awarded employees with stock grants for the first time this year.

More expected to follow forth.

Hong Kong drops sales tax

What is proposed?
5% sales tax that would raise HKD3.8bio per annum.

Why the drop?
Politically inconvenience. Sadly it reflects very poor planning.

What is the current budget situation in HK?
1. About 1/3 of income earners pay tax. Very narrow tax base.
2. They have been living admist budget deficits.

I wonder how have they been funding their budgets year in year out.
More land sales? How much more land you can sell?
More Disneylands? Oops.. that is certainly a costly exercise.

Any alternatives?

  • More “sin” taxes ie. on cigarettes and liquors. Maybe it is a good outcome afterall.
  • Capital gains tax – very painful for Hong Kongers as “buying and selling” is a favourite past time activity there.
  • More taxes on car – another possible good outcome of no sales tax – it would help with the smog.

I hope Hong Kongers will take action to avoid borrowing from the future generations and spend today.

AirAsia may have to restate earnings?

In early Nov 2006, AirAsia, the Malaysian budget airline, have indicated that it may have to restate its earnings for its fiscal year ended June 2006. This is a result of difference in interpretation of a certain accounting policy. The dispute would translate to RM40mio swing in profit.

What is the accounting policy under dispute?

The focus is on FRS 112 under the Malaysian standard.

AirAsia has maintained their position that the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) allows it to recognise unused investment tax allowances as deductible temporary differences.

It argued that its accounts for year ended 30 Jun 2006 will not present a true and fair view of the company’s financial performance if it were to comply strictly with FRS 112 under the Malaysian standard.

Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC) had asked AirAsia to restate its accounts.

The Malaysian Accounting Standards Board (MASB) confirmed recently that FRS 112 was not a new standard, and that it is also consistent with the international standard.

AirAsia’s accounts could be qualified. The profit definition difference would have no impact on its financial position as the accounting treatment is non-cash in nature.

Anybody got any update on this case?