Primary purpose of defining different reserve categories
Some of the reserves mentioned are illustrated with the accounts of Swire Pacific Limited shown in Exhibit 13-9. Swire Pacific Limited is based in Hong Kong and is one of the largest companies in the world. The primary operations of the company are in the regions of Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan, where it has operated for more than 125 years. Swire operates Cathay Pacific Airways and has extensive real estate holdings in Hong Kong. As you can see from the amounts included in its calculation, the “revenue reserve” is generally equivalent to what we call “retained earnings.” The “investment revaluation reserve” is equivalent to the accumulated unrealized gain or loss on available-for-sale securities. Thus, the legal limit on dividend payments by Swire Pacific is HK$14.151 billion.
1.Recall that the primary purpose of defining different reserve categories is to distinguish between distributable and nondistributable equity. As of December 31, 2009, how much of Swire Pacific’s equity is distributable?
2. What is the U.S. equivalent of Swire Pacific’s revenue reserve?
3. What do you think is the purpose of the capital redemption reserve?