A study on the possible impact of constructive lease capitalisation on selected listed South African companies' financial statements, in light of IFRS 16 leases

Master Thesis


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This study analyses the possible effects of constructive lease capitalisation on all companies in four sectors of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) namely Industrial Transportation, Food and Drug Retailers, General Retailers and Travel and Leisure, in light of the impending adoption of IFRS 16.1 The capitalisation is performed using a model developed by Imhoff Jr., Lipe, & David, (1997) & Imhoff Jr., Lipe, & Wright, (1991) as well as further refinements in Dillon, (2014) & Fulbier, Silva, & Pferdehirt, (2006). The analysis looks at the effects of constructive capitalisation on key leverage and profitability ratios, and line items in the financial statements. The study also assesses the impact on disclosed loan covenants and whether constructive capitalisation will result in the breach of any covenants. The results show that the adoption of IFRS 16 has an impact on key ratios and line items specifically leverage ratios and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin. The sector most impacted is the Food and Drug Retailers. No loan covenants were breached as a result of constructive capitalisation, however the impact on the covenants was both positive and negative.