Quit Notice

Chandi Dharmaratne

May 22, 2012 (LBO) – Pradeep Kariyawasam, the chairman of Sri Lanka’s state-run National Savings Bank had resigned ahead of more fresh planned protests by the lender’s trade unions, over a controversial stock deal, media reports said. The finance ministry halted the payment on the deal as the controversy erupted and the sellers later agreed to return the money.

Kariyawasam, who is the husband of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice, was earlier chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, also a state-run entity.

The ‘AAA’ rated National Savings Bank reversed a deal where it bought stock in a loss-making finance company at more than 60 percent above market price, triggering probes by the finance ministry and the securities watchdog.

Sri Lanka’s The Island newspaper quoted Ceylon Bank Employees Union general secretary Channa Dissanayake as saying that they wanted the entire board to resign.

Another director, who is an astrologer, had also quit earlier In Sri Lanka resignations are rare.

Market sources indicated that senior career officers in the bank had been unhappy at the deal whether 13 percent of stock in The Finance Company, was bought from several private sellers.