Subsidiaries and basis of consolidation
Subsidiaries are entities over which the Group has the ability to control the financial and operating policies so as to obtain benefits from their activities. The existence and effect of potential voting rights that are currently exercisable or convertible are considered when assessing whether the Group has such power over another entity.
In the Company’s separate financial statements, investments in subsidiaries are stated at cost less impairment losses. On disposal of such investments, the difference between net disposal proceeds and their carrying amounts is included in profit or loss.
ii. Basis of consolidation
The consolidated financial statements comprise the financial statements of the Company and its subsidiaries as at the balance sheet date. The financial statements of the subsidiaries are prepared for the same reporting date as the Company.
Subsidiaries are consolidated from the date of acquisition, being the date on which the Group obtains control, and continue to be consolidated until the date that such control ceases. In preparing the consolidated financial statements, intragroup balances, transactions and unrealised gains or losses are eliminated in full. Uniform accounting policies are adopted in the consolidated financial statements for like transactions and events in similar circumstances.
Acquisitions of subsidiaries (except for those which meet the conditions of merger) are accounted for using the purchase method. The purchase method of accounting involves allocating the cost of the acquisition to the fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities and contingent liabilities assumed at the date of acquisition. The cost of an acquisition is measured as the aggregate of the fair values, at the date of exchange, of the assets given, liabilities incurred or assumed, and equity instruments issued, plus any costs directly attributable to the acquisition.
Any excess of the cost of the acquisition over the Group’s interest in the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities represents goodwill. Any excess of the Group’s interest in the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities over the cost of acquisition is recognised immediately in profit or loss.
Acquisitions of certain subsidiaries which meet the conditions of merger were accounted for using the merger method. When the merger method is used, the cost of investment in the Company’s financial statements is recorded at fair value of the shares issued at the date of exchange. The difference between the carrying value of the investment and the nominal value of shares acquired is treated as merger reserve or merger deficit. Where the carrying value of investment is less than the nominal value of shares acquired, the merger reserve should be treated as a reserve arising on consolidation. Where the carrying amount of investment is greater than the nominal value of shares acquired, the merger deficit is treated on consolidation as a reduction of reserves. The results of the companies being merged are included as if the merger had been effected throughout the current and previous financial year.
Minority interests represent the portion of profit or loss and net assets in subsidiaries not held by the Group. It is measured at the minorities’ share of the fair value of the subsidiaries’ identifiable assets and liabilities at the acquisition date and the minorities’ share of changes in the subsidiaries’ equity since then.