By Steve A. Morrell
Chairman, International Chamber Of commerce, (ICC), Tissa Jayaweera, said in his annual report to the membership at its 46th annual general meeting that expectations were high after elimination of terrorism that stability and growth would move forward. However, morphed into an escalating spiral of increasing costs, policy makers had not heeded misgivings that were expressed that looming balance of payments would reach crisis levels.
"The community would now have to go through a period of adjustment to the new reality of high cost structures", he said.
ICC’s 170 member forum, with membership in the World Chambers Federation, enables access to over 70 countries with merchandise exposure for Fairs and exhibitions, commercial sampling and professional equipment.
Chief Guest at the AGM, former Chairman, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Tilak Karunaratne in a critique of recent upheaval witnessed at the SEC, said an artificial situation had arisen at the SEC based on insider trading through dubious deals designed to usurp an unsuspecting market.
He said the end result was that surreptitious highwaymen bent on fraudulent transactions seek enormous profit through fictional and artificial circumstances to raise an artificial benchmark in trading. When unsuspecting investors move in with their purchase of these worthless equity, the artificial position of these shares see rapid decline and these shareholders are left with useless equity, That’s when opportunists who had engineered this debacle ‘move in for the kill’.
Net forex outflow of foreign investors had now reached alarming proportions and although the SEC daily transactions show lackadaisical inconsistencies, surface results are at risk. The bottom line is that only a few have access to insider information gain and that too through crooked machinations.
He also said shareholders are further exploited through low dividend declarations supported by the clause ‘Transfer to reserve’. He said these are shareholder funds which rightfully accrue to them but through this questionable practice are relegated to this transfer to reserve. Nobody actually knows what happens thereafter. Alarmingly there is no protective law that could expose such funds transfers.
Investor education has now become necessary to circumvent such situations. Mid next year, investors would have access to Risk Management Solutions, RMS, and DVP. In monetary terms, this acronym would mean Delivery Versus Payment. CCP, or Central Counterparty Clearing could also have protective initiatives designed to ensure investors their equity is safe and trading would be on even keel, Karunaratne noted.
He said interference must go. There should be no meddling in the Stock Exchange with political overtones.
He described it to be a ‘ridiculous market’, tailored to look good.