Corrupt Stories

May 09, 2007 (LBO) – The quality of corporate financial analysis in Sri Lanka is poor and the financial media is believed to be corrupt, a top business executive said Tuesday. Jayaratne said that it was a change in values and attitudes that was required, more than mere compliance with rules.

Chandra Jayaratne, a former chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, said capital market investment analysts and financial journalists lacked adequate skills to do an effective job in reporting on corporate performance.

“The financial media, it is widely believed, can be bought for two drams of arrack (to get news published),” he told a seminar for directors on the new corporate governance rules of the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Jayaratne’s remarks echoed those of a former media minister, Mangala Samaraweera, who once told parliament that Sri Lankan journalists could be induced to publish news by bribing them with one bottle of liquor.

The new corporate governance rules are being made mandatory for listed firms from the financial year starting March or December 2009. In the current financial year, companies must comply or explain non-compliance.

Jayaratne, a former