Nov 18, 2016

Top management neglects Mahapola Trust Fund

Sri Lanka university student’s Mahapola scholarship money which had reserves in excess Rs billion is to evaporate within a short time owing to negligence and conflict of interest of the top management of National Wealth Corporation Ltd which owns 100 percent by Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship trust Fund, public interest activists warned.

Since the new management took over the Natwealth Corporation, Mahapola Trust Fund, there was a danger of scholarships either being slashed or the monies being reduced, as the fund is alleged to have been running at a loss, they said.

NatWealth Securities Ltd, a unit of National Wealth Corporation (NWCL) is also alleged to have been running at a loss under the chairmanship of Dr. Wickrema Weerasuriya, one time strong man of J.R. Jayawardena Government.

Dr. Weerasuriya is also the Chairman of ASSET Trust Management Pvt Ltd which is also a SEC regulated invest Manger.

Due to this conflict of interest and Dr. Weerasuriya’s involvement in his own private company, the state owned NWCL is neglected and running at a loss and his privately owned company is thriving, they pointed out.

The group of public interest activist has brought this matter to the notice of President Maithreepala Sirisena in letter recently.

They urged the president to ensure the resignation of Dr.Weerasuriya, from the state owned entity and not pretend to resign from the private company and transfer shares to a front or related party as many involved in the Bond scam do.

This primary dealer NatWealth Securities has started to bleed since the year 2015 and the reported loss during the financial year 2016 was Rs. 200 million, analysts said. The company’s performance has dropped to a loss of Rs. 110 million from Rs. 513 million profits.

The company has ignored a directive of the Central Bank in late 2015 in respect of a financial misappropriation of Rs. 90 million from the custody accounts of two customers maintained with the regulator, official sources confirmed.