Right of reply
In response to a report published in The Sunday Times FT of April 20, 2008 titled ‘ComBank directors defeated at EGM’, The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has written through its lawyers Julius and Creasy stating the article was inaccurate and that the Employee Share Option Plan (ESOP) tabled at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was passed, despite meeting with some resistance from certain sections of the house.
It further says that the ESOP was passed with an overwhelming majority of 45, 376,094 votes for and only 1,336,376 votes against.
The letter states that the resolution to introduce the ESOP was not defeated, and what the article stated saying that it was the first time a proposal by the directors had been shot down by the shareholders is false.
It also says that Mr. Ken Balendra’s resignation from the Board of Directors has been inserted in such a way that it gives the impression that he resigned due to the ESOP issue and that Mr. Balendra’s resignation was completely independent of the said vote, and was as has been quoted for personal reasons.
Reporter’s note: Our report that the Chairman of the EGM, Mr. B.R.L. Fernando had put the ESOP resolution to the house to be voted by a “show of hands” and that “only three shareholders voted for the resolution and it was defeated” is correct, and not disputed by the bank.
However, we inadvertently didn’t report that according to the Articles of the Commercial Bank, the Chairman of the meeting, Mr. B.R.L. Fernando can call for a poll, which he did after the ‘show of hands’ and where the ESOP resolution was passed with a majority of 45, 376,094 votes for and only 1,336,376 votes against.
The error here is regretted. With regard to Mr Balendra’s resignation, our story clearly states that he resigned for personal reasons which are also given.