Although the meeting market stakeholders had with Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, reportedly bore no real result, it was decided to issue an official statement by the Finance Ministry about the outcomes of the meeting, to curb contradictory media reports.
According to an informed source, a lot of emphasis during the meeting was given to keeping the media at bay regarding market developments, to maintain the ‘positive sentiment of the market’.
At one instance, it was proposed to issue a joint statement about the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting by the SEC and the Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA), which SEC Chairman Tilak Karunaratne turned down.
According to sources close to the Finance Ministry, the proposal to issue an official statement was put forward by the Colombo Stock Exchange Director and HNB CEO, Rajendra Theagarajah and was seconded by Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Tilak Karunaratne.
The meeting, which was scheduled at 5.30 p.m. but started at 6.20 p.m., was attended by all the stockbrokers, both with the CSBA, as well as those who had left the organisation. The SEC Commissioners, the director board of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), several high net worth investors, including Harry Jayawardena and Nimal Perera, who earlier met with the President, were also present.
Apart from that, minor shareholder activist K.C. Vignarajah and former SEC Chairman Chari de Silva also attended the meeting. According to sources, Dr. Jayasundra was believed to have attempted to create a consensus between the brokers, investors and the SEC, without yielding any fruitful result.
As the sources revealed, although the SEC and former SEC Chairman Chari de Silva were ‘diplomatically silent’ during the meeting, minor shareholder rights activist K.C. Vignaraja voiced his concerns about the proper implementation of the regulations and the independence of the regulator.
CSBA President Sriyan Gurusinghe a n d R av i Abeysuriya, representing the stockbroking community, spoke about their grievances, impact of certain government policy decisions and emphasized the need for the positive sentiment to return to the market.