Sept 09, Colombo: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Sri Lanka has decided to commence a fully-pledged investigation into the conduct of Touchwood Investments and has issued an order for the company to fully comply with its investigation,
In a notice to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Monday, the securities regulator said it has decided to conduct a fully-pledged investigation into the activities of the company based on the findings of the preliminary inquiry conducted earlier by the SEC on the complaints it received.
The investigation will ascertain if the company, which has a public holding of over 90 percent, has committed any offence under the provisions of the SEC Act or violated any rules and regulations of the Listing Rules of CSE.
Accordingly, the SEC, in order to protect the interest of investors waiting for the conclusion of the SEC investigation, has issued the directive.
Under the directive, Touchwood Investments is ordered to "desist from acquiring, transferring, disposing, pledging, hiring, mortagaing, leasing, creating a charge over or otherwise alienating any non-current assets depicted in the balance sheet of the company without the prior approval of the SEC till the completion of the investigation."
Further, the company is ordered to desist, in any manner, from destroying, concealing, altering, removing, amending or arranging such actions on any information in the records or books of the company maintained in the usual operation of the company.
The Company is ordered to extend the fullest cooperation to the SEC for the investigation.
The SEC said the Company, its Board of Directors, Management or any agents are directed to ensure the strict compliance of the order to ensure that SEC investigatioj is not hampered in any manner by the company.
The regulator today suspended the trading activities of the company with immediate effect for three market days commencing from 10th September.
Touchwood has been in financial trouble for some time and a group of angry investors called Touchwood Forestry Owners group, who have not been able to recover their investments, has brought the company to the attention of the authorities.