Financial Times

Hunter's director resigns, CSE yet to be informed
By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

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’.

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