SEC’s top post still vacant
By Amrith Gunasekara
Even after a lapse of two months, country’s capital market watchdog- Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) of Sri Lanka, is yet to find a proper candidate to take up the reins of the institution.
Ever since the SEC’s controversial former Director General Malik Cader left the ‘hot-seat’ on November 2, authorities have not been successful to appoint a new DG to the top seat.
Market sources also revealed that a very senior SEC official, who applied for the post earlier, pulled out his application for the vacant Director General post few days ago.
“It is learnt that although this official is a very senior SEC official who is more experienced than the former DG, he decided to withdraw the application after realizing that he did not meet the relevant qualifications,” a top market source told Ceylon FT.
The said SEC Official is said to have served in the Commission for several years and had been a top investigator who probed market manipulations and related incidents whilst some market analysts opine that the particular SEC Official was anticipated by many to become the next DG.
Meanwhile in other developments while several investors had been collecting one-time controversial stock Touchwood Investments PLC (TOUCH) ever since the appointment of new SEC Chairman Thilak Karunarathne.
It is now learnt from market sources that investors had been collecting Touchwood shares since the present SEC Chairman is slated to have 420,000 shares of Touchwood Investments PLC and is said to be among the top 20 shareholders of the company.
“He is having it under his company name Multiform Chemicals Ltd” a market analyst said adding since the brokers had been pushing for an appointment of a SEC Chairman who is knowledgeable and had traded in the market Karunaratne’s appointment may have been favoured by many brokers.
In mid 2010 the financials of the listed company Bairaha Farms PLC (BFL) outlines that Multiform Chemicals had been having 101,100 shares of BFL at a time when the share was trading at Rs.70 range whilst on the same year as at December 31, the financials of BFL highlights that Multiform Chemicals was no more in among the top 10 shareholders list when the share was trading at nearly Rs 320 levels.
“This clearly denotes that present SEC Chairman is a person who is having a clear experience and idea of the market” another analyst said in the grounds of anonymity.
Meanwhile another top analyst said that although there was some speculation on the appointment of Presidential Advisor and ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) Chairman Prof. P. W. Epasinghe’s son Varuna Epasinghe as the new Director General to SEC Epasinghe had refused to take up the position.
In another development some market sources outline that SEC had called for the first round of interviews for potential candidates for the Director General’s post today.
(Ceylon Today Online) http://www.ceylontoday.lk/news-detail.php?news_id=1418&news_category_id=22