Business Times

Court permits sale of Entrust Ltd

By Bandula Sirimanna

The Supreme Court has permitted the sale of Entrust Ltd, formally known as Ceylinco Shriram Securities Holding Ltd, to pay off monies owed to Ceylinco Shriram depositors. The 3-judge bench headed by Justice Shirani Thilakawardane allowed a plea by the petitioners (depositors) to find prospective buyers for the company when the Ceylinco Shriram fundamental rights case came before the Supreme Court, a week ago.

Entrust Ltd is a fully owned subsidiary of Ceylinco Capital Investment Company Ltd and comes under the Ceylinco Shriram Group. The court told petitioners to inform the court of any possible bids at the next sitting scheduled for January 10.

Entrust Ltd has three companies under its wing: Entrust Securities Ltd earlier known as Ceylinco Shriram Securities Ltd is a registered Primary Dealer, Entrust Investments Ltd and Multi Finance Company Ltd which is a registered finance company.

Entrust Securities Ltd and Multi Finance Company Ltd have recorded Net Asset Values of Rs 503 and 248 million, respectively in their Balance Sheets as per disclosures as at end March 2010. An official of the company noted that the functions of Entrust Securities Ltd are continuously monitored by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka through regular reporting procedures and examinations. In recent times, a few Ceylinco companies have changed their names to overcome negative public perception of the group after a subsidiary, Golden Key collapsed.

Ceylinco Shriram has defaulted about 7500 depositors in a total value of Rs. 7.2 billion and the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Chartered Accountants headed by. Lakshman R.Watawala has taken steps to repay the depositors up to a maximum of Rs. 250,000 or 50% whichever is less on the total deposit. Although the court has ordered certain properties to be sold including the Shriram Head office at R.A.De Mel Mawatha and the Celestial Building at Kollupitiya, none of the properties has been sold to date. The court has issued a directive to call fresh bids to sell these assets as well.

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