The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has bought 3,937 shares and sold 1,453 shares through the Colombo Stock Exchange during the few years, Parliament was informed today.
Deputy Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama revealed these details in response to a question by United National Party (UNP) MP and economist Harsha de Silva.
The question posed by Dr. de Silva has been in the Parliament Order Book for more than a year and on five occasions the government had asked for more time to answer his question.
The total volume of the equity market transactions carried out through brokers in 2010 and 2011 was Rs.37,178 million and Rs.35,104 million respectively. It was also revealed that the total transaction cost including brokerage was Rs.256 million.
The EPF had invested in ACL Cables PLC; Aitken Spence PLC; Asian Hotels PLC; Asiri Medical Services PLC; Ceylon Cold Stores; Hemas Holding PLC; Lanka Wall Tiles PLC and Laugfh Gas PLC. The transactions had been carried out through 24 stock brokers.
Dr. De Silva said what he had intended was to highlight certain transactions of a contentious nature, but the deputy minister had failed to give a comprehensive answer in that regard. He also said that the EPF had failed to submit its 2011 Annual Report to Parliament.
“The spirit of this question is actually to pinpoint certain transactions. For instance, this entre calamity with the National Savings Bank purchasing shares of The Finance Company was one such transaction. So many such transactions that we need to get into the EPF portfolio of this 3,297 shares,” he said. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)