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Full statement by CB on Treasury Bond scandal soon

Acting Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana said the Central Bank would release a full statement on the scandal surrounding bond trader, Perpetual Treasuries in the near future.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet briefing yesterday at the Government Information Department, Paranavithana said the issue was not discussed in Cabinet and that it was up to the Central Bank, the regulatory authority, to make a final decision on the matter.

Perpetual Treasuries, owned by former Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendra’s son-in law, caused controversy this month when it made a phenomenal post-tax profit of over Rs 5 billion in the year ending March 2016; much ahead of the competition.

An online publication in the meantime which leaked a draft investigation into Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. that stated that Central Bank did find that the company had made extraordinary profits from unusually large volumes of Treasury bonds allocated to it at high yields during the tenure of the former Central Bank Governor.

The Central Bank since then has called the report ‘unauthorized’ and has called for law enforcement to investigate into the leak. The scam is said to be one of the biggest in Sri Lanka’s financial history.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank is to complain to the CID regarding the leaking of Bank’s secret financial information to the public through devious means requesting a probe into the matter.

Since this unofficial release of Central Bank’s secret information posed a serious threat to the country’s financial status. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to summon the finance committee to discuss this matter soon after his return from his visit to Brussels, informed sources said. It is reported that several important decisions would be taken to prevent this type of leakage of vital financial information.

Sources said that due to this leakage of information several foreign banks and financial institutions planning to invest in the proposed financial city project have decided to reconsider their decision. The Prime Minister has already held several rounds of talks with the Central Bank Governor over this issue and the Governor’s complaint to the CID is a direct outcome of these discussions.

The Central Bank is planning to take stern action against those individuals responsible for this leaking of information irrespective of their position or status it is reliably learnt.