Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe raised concerns in Parliament on investing EPF and ETF funds in the Colombo Stock Exchange.
’’Recently the media carried news items alleging fraud and market manipulations in share transactions. This includes a push and jump strategy in which speculators pushed the value of shares and then dumped them on these two funds resulting in a loss for the funds and gain for speculators.’’
’’The Standard and Poor’s banking industry country risk assessment has stated "Our economic risk:
score of 8 for Sri Lanka reflects a "very high risk" assessment of economic resilience and credit risk iii the economy, and a "high risk" assessment of’ economic imbalances as our criteria define those terms.’’
’’Therefore this House requires details of all the transactions of the two funds to make a considered
decision regarding the truth or otherwise of these allegations and further action if any to secure the funds,’’ said Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe
’’The EPF has authority to make investments in the stock market. The EPF Act Section 5 (I) (e) states that the Monetary Board may invest the monies of the fund in such securities as the Monetary Board may consider fit and may sell such securities.’’
The EPF has also consistently maintained that all its investments have been made in line with the guidelines issued from time to time by the Monetary Board. Accordingly, there may be times during which the value of certain stocks could be lower than the cost, but such situations are almost always reversed when external factors change for the better.’’
’’What is experienced in the Colombo stock exchange is a bearish trend in the market where prices of all shares are trading at considerably lower rates than those that prevailed several months ago. This is not an unusual phenomenon today with almost all stock markets all over the world experiencing downturns.’’
’’The EPF has realized 2,504 million as capital gains and dividends in 2011 and realised over Rs. 1,559 million as capital gains and dividends, so far in 2012. Hence there is clearly no risk of the EPF incurring any real loss during this bearish phase of the stock market.’’ responded Senior Minister for International Financial Coorporation Dr. Sarath Amunugama.