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* Sri Lanka's private sector retirement fund lost billions due to irregular investments, opposition alleges
Thu, Dec 19, 2013, 10:12 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) says that the private sector retirement fund, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has incurred losses amounting to billions of rupees due to irregular investments of its monies in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

UNP parliamentarian and economist Dr. Harsha de Silva told parliament that the irregular investments in the CSE had cost EPF to lose Rs. 8.1 billion at present market rates.

He said the Central Bank had invested EPF money in 65 companies including some companies that were making huge losses.

Among the companies where EPF monies were invested were Grain Elevators where 5,350,549 shares were purchased by June 20, 2012 at a share price of Rs.187. However, the market price had dropped to Rs. 35.70 percent per share by December 10, 2013, causing a loss of Rs. 814 million, the MP explained.

He further noted that the EPF had also purchased 6,449,645 shares of Browns PLC at Rs. 266.41 per share and the market price had dropped to Rs. 81.70 by December 10, 2013, leading to a loss of Rs.1.1 billion.

Dr. de Silva pointed out that among the other companies where EPF monies were invested are Dipped Products, Laugfs Gas Co., Lanka Indian Oil Company and Galadari Hotel.

According to Dr. de Silva, these investments were made in violation of guidelines set out for such investments by the EPF.

** Related Story :: Trade union requests Sri Lankan President to resume investigation into private sector retirement fund investments

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