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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

NSB crisis:Finger pointed at CB and CSE

The inactivity of leading State institutions like the Central Bank and Colombo Stock Exchange in not monitoring the Rs.393 million fraudulent share deal involving the National Savings Bank (NSB) and The Finance Company (TFC) has heightened public concern. It raised eyebrows as to a can of worms where several top officials from the NSB, Stock Exchange and the TFC were linked to the scam The Nation reliably understands.

The growing clamour is that the National Savings Bank director board should resign or be sent home as public interest hotted up throughout last week as to the Rs.393 million fraudulent share deal involving the National Savings Bank (NSB), The Finance Company (TFC) and Sampath Bank.

Agitating public concern was the apparent inaction against the culprits who had orchestrated an illegal in purchasing a 13.02 stake of  TFC paying a steep premium over its market price. The general consensus was that NSB was trying to duck under the pretext that it did not go ahead with the transaction whereas its custodian bank namely Sampath Bank had paid the money with a Rs/20 excess per share.

The Treasury, which was directed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate the scam, remained mum as more light was cast on it linking the brother of the broker concerned in the transaction said to be a director of TFC.
Controversy surrounded Rs.393 million share deal by the state owned National Savings Bank (NSB) in purchasing a 13.02 per cent stake of The Finance Company (TFC) paying a steep premium over its market price which is now under investigation on a presidential directive following the stoppage of payment by NSB directors. NSB last Monday bought 7.863 million shares of TFC at Rs. 49.74 in an off-market deal although previous trading day’s market price of TFC was only around Rs.30.

 The multi million rupee shares deal has caught the public kaleidoscope and is now being probed by the Treasury with its Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera asking for explanations from relevant NSB executive directors following President Mahinda Rajapaksa calling for an immediate report on what transpired.

None of the NSB officials were available for comment. Efforts to contact the bank chairman through its call center met with a blank with its operator blandly stating, “We have no number to give you.”
Written by  Srian Obeyesekere


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