Shareholders at Hunter and Company (Hunter's), under scrutiny over issues raised on disclosures, on Friday were informed that A.S. Jayawardene had resigned from the board of directors, just a month after being appointed.
Mr Jayewardene, a retired Central Bank Governor, was appointed on June 25, 2008 and resigned on July 26, according to the 2007/08 accounts which shareholders received on Friday. However shareholders raised the issue as why the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) was not informed of the resignation in line with Section 9 of CSE rules where such developments must be promptly informed. The company’s annual general meeting is on September 30.
Meanwhile Ernst & Young (E&Y), the former Hunter's auditors, is awaiting a communication from the company secretaries to write to them on the shareholders request at Hunter's second EGM held on September 2.
"A shareholder who wrote to Jacey & Company (J&C-Hunter’s company secretaries) has copied that letter to E&Y. But they are of the position that the Secretaries must write to E&Y. After that they will take a decision," an informed source told The Sunday Times FT.
He added that a shareholder (Mr. K.C. Vignarajah) had requested the Secretaries to confirm the minutes of the second EGM, which resolved for him to have a dialogue with E&Y. This was done in a bid to get E&Y to attend a possible third EGM to clarify some of Hunter's accounts.
"After the first EGM, the Hunter’s directors wrote to E&Y asking them to certify a particular transaction relating to Hunter’s accounts. E&Y had replied saying if a shareholder wants a specific item certified or verified it has to be complied with the Sri Lanka Auditing Practice Statement, which is an auditing practice. But now E&Y is not their auditors. E&Y has said that if Hunter’s needs this transaction clarified, they can request so from the present auditors, who are Wijerathna and Company Ltd," the source explained.
He said that E&Y told Hunter's that they have stopped functioning as the auditors of the company and 'moreso the resignation was following a dispute on the presentation of the accounts. E&Y also said that it will be inappropriate for them to issue what Hunter’s directors requested due to these reasons’.