Sniper Fire

Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd.’s Chairman has sought regulators blessings to ask DFCC Bank reduce its stakes in the former to be within limits allowed under the present Banking Act. Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd.’s Chairman has sought regulators blessings to ask DFCC Bank reduce its stakes in the former to be within limits allowed under the present Banking Act. Chairman Mahendra Amarasuriya, is in the spotlight, after two key shareholders have sought to oust him from the Commercial Bank’s board through an extraordinary general meeting on November 2.

But Amarasuriya, who has been at the bank’s helm for 17 years, has hit back, alleging hidden moves by key shareholders to oust him.

“It became apparent to me that the hostile group of investors headed by a lead investor was embarking on a strategy to gain control of DFCC Bank (the single largest shareholder of Commercial Bank) with a view to controlling Commercial Bank of Ceylon,” he said in a circular to shareholders this week.

DFCC Bank, he says, exceeded ownership limits and was allowed by the Monetary Board to buy 29.7 percent in Commercial Bank few years back on grounds that “the acquisition was considered necessary or