Sri Lankan ‘Bond King – Ajith Devasurendra’ Exposed by industry analysts
|Ajith Lasantha Devasurendra|
|NSB Chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam|
Several stock market analysts and many retail and institutional investors of Colombo Stock Exchange has expressed concerns whether it was school day cricket experience that helped some top corporate executives in Sri Lanka’s finance sector to play out with hard earned savings of the majority of public or the tax paying citizen’s money in the island nation.
High on the heels of exclusive revelations of NSB-TFC Deal that involved former Browns group employee now influential personality who sits on NSB Board as Chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam and former money broker bond and securitization consultant Ajith Devasurendra; according to many investors of the island it has been probably the ‘Cricket’ the famous sport in Sri Lanka that had taught them to do ‘Unethical Fixed Stock Market Deals’
Cricket has been a much popular game in Sri Lanka and since post 1996 ‘World Cup’ island nation’s several cricketers have come in to the spotlight of ‘Match Fixing’ among international and local community.
However several cricket fans and the general public had now raised concerns and curiosity with latest developments in Sri Lanka’s financial and capital market industry whether the money management of the country has gone into a few good old school cricketers who played for Sri Lanka’s premier Boys School in Colombo 07 (which nourished top professionals and politicians in the country) at a time when Sri Lankan’s did not know about match fixing.
Match Fixing is termed to be a dishonest activity to make sure that one team or an individual wins or lose a particular sports match while several sport deal makers get money in ‘Underhand Deals’.
In fact former money broker and First Capital Group Chief Executive officer (CEO) Ajith Lasantha Devasurendra was ‘Stylish Right handed middle order batsman and Right-arm off-spin bowler and headed the Royal College of Colombo’s 1981 Cricket Team.
And former Sri Lanka Insurance Chairman (SLIC) now National Savings Bank (NSB) Chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam who was a player in Royal College Cricket Team was also the Vice-Captain of the Royal College Past Pupils Cricket Team in 1980 when the school was celebrating the 100th Celebration of ‘The Battle of The Blues’. Pradeep G. S. Kariyawasam was in fact a Third year player and Right handed opening batsman and scored several half centuries in School Cricket history of Royal College Colombo. Kariyawasam’s brother Prasanna N. S. Kariyawasam also captained Royal College Cricket Team in 1975.
|Ashantha De Mel|
On another development it is surprising to note that another cricketer from the same school; Ashantha Lakdasa Francis De Mel (born 9 May 1959, Colombo) who was involved in Sri Lanka’s controversial oil hedging deal that lead the country to lose billions and also lead some local and international banks in the country to report billions of losses when Ashantha De Mel was the Chairman of state owned oil utility Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
Ashantha De Mel is a former Sri Lankan cricketer and selector for the national team. He was one of few Sri Lanka bowlers in the 1980s who could get the ball to anything above medium pace, and he was also said to have the ability to get the ball to swing out. He only played one Test match outside the Indian subcontinent, which may explain why his Test average is so high, as conditions there are generally not thought suitable for swing bowlers. He often made small contributions with the bat, and only made ducks three times. He was educated at Isipathana Vidyalaya Colombo up to ordinary level and then moved to Royal College Colombo.
How did Ajith Devasurendra became ‘The Bond King of Sri Lanka’
According to market analysts, primary dealers and top investors in the country Ajith Lasantha Devasurendra has earned the name "Bond King" as he leveraged in billions and bought bonds.
Ajith Lasantha Devasurendra currently serve as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Taprobane Holdings Limited. Mr. Devasurendra earlier served as Group Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Group prior to his position at Taprobane. According to reports he has over 30 years experience both in Sri Lanka and overseas in the financial sector. Several Sri Lankan financial reports outline that Devasurendra was also instrumental in pioneering the money broking and Government Securities markets in Sri Lanka and he had served as a consultant to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bombay.
However, a former Chief Executive (CEO) of First Capital recently explained to CSE Leaks how Ajith Devasurendra was so bold in becoming the 'Bond King' of Sri Lanka. “Ajith Devasurendra gave a room in the First Capital premises to Mano Tittawala, when he was the Chairman Peoples Bank and put a First Capital employee as the head of the Treasury in Peoples Bank. Then got a high leverage for his large purchases and when the Bond Prices collapsed Devasurendra sold all the Bonds to Peoples Bank.”
This is how Devasurendra started his ‘Bond King’ career in island nation by letting state owned banks (that has public deposits) to run into billions of losses.
“Following years later Ajith Devasurendra got leverage from Head of Treasury of Seylan Bank and when the next time the Bond prices collapsed Devasurendra sold all his personal Bonds to First Capital making First Capital loose a few hundred millions” our source said.
Our source went on to say that finding about when Ajith Devasurendra’s ‘Fraudulent White Collar Criminal Activities’ – “Ajith Devasurendra who was then Managing Director of First Capital and its Chairperson Rohini Nanayakkara were going to be charged by the Chairman S. K. Wickramasinghe and Hemeka Amarasuriya but before that they left the company and sold their shares to Singer Group and Sumith Guruge.”
According to our sources there after Rohini Nanayakkara introduced popular vehicle dealer Ishara Chinthaka Nanayakkara and they all started the Taprobane Group with Rohini Nanayakkara as the Chairperson and appointing her also to the LOLC group as the Chairperson. Several industry sources also outline that an Assistant Governor of Central Bank who is now the Deputy Chairman of Commercial Bank PLC Dharma Dheerasinghe was instrumental for ‘Ajith Devasurendra’ having the best information to be regarded as the "Bond King".
Dharma Dheerasinghe served as the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank since May 2009. Prior to this he was the Assistant Governor since 2004.
From September 2007 to January 2010 he was released to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where he served as the Alternate Executive Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka.
In another development it is now learnt by CSE Leaks that Dharma Dheerasinghe's wife now an Assistant Governor of Central Bank was managing and overlooking the Investment rationals of country's largest Pension Fund Employees Provident Fund (EPF) being the Superintendent of EPF. One time since 2009 Ajith Devasurendra lead fame including Ishara Nanayakkara, Arjun Aloysius, Navara Capital lead Harsha De Silva 'Dumped' so many stocks to making EPF the cash 'Pump' by getting rich at the expense of Sri Lanka's working populations hard earned savings.
Meanwhile, top insiders said to CSE Leaks that ‘Ajith Devasurendra’ celebrated his last Birthday as a ‘King’ at Eden Hotel (before closing it down for refurbishments’ with taking out for the weekend all those who helped him in hundreds of corrupt transactions in the last few years. The invitees included former up-stair kicked shame vested interests pursued regulator Malik Carder - who protected Ajith Devasurendra and his CEO Dinal Wijemanne in dozens of ‘Pump & Dump’ Colombo Stock Exchange ‘Scams.’ Some opine that Malik Cader finally invested some money he earned by protecting these individuals in Ajith Devasurendra lead investor consortium owned " Amethyst Resort" in Passikudah which is a unit of Amethyst Leisure (Pvt) Ltd.
Not the First ‘White Collar Crime’ together!
Bar Tenders’ circles and Cocktail circles in Colombo outlined to CSE Leaks that NSB Chairman Predeep Kariyawasam and Ajith Devasurendra were finalizing the terms at the Pub at Excel World the day before the corrupt transaction of The Finance shares being bought by NSB happened. However, Ajith Devasurendra and Dinal Wijemanne have been in the last two months planning and going through all hurdles to sell The Finance shares to NSB said a close confidant of a Director of NSB, to CSE Leaks.
“This is not the first time Pradeep Kariyawasam and Ajith Devasurendra created a mess in a large Government Financial Institutions. When Kariyawasam was the Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corpaoration (SLIC) , Ajith Devasurendra had got Pradeep Kariyawasam recommend to buy a portion of NDB (National Development Bank PLC) for LOLC when the other Directors said what was approved was to buy NDB shares via SLIC and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in 2009.
According a then SLIC served top Director; SLIC that time got the approval from Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara to buy up to a nearly 16% of NDB Bank (NDB Bank shares held by Vijay Eswaran led Gold Quest) through SLIC and EPF at an attractive price.
“However that time going against the SLIC Investment Committee and Boar Approval Pradeep Kariyawasam –Chairman of SLIC – September to December 2009 - went alone and promoted a part stake of NDB to LOLC” our source told.
“Kariyawasam was on his own and he was disagreeing on many board decisions that were favoured by majority of board members. So we decided to bring this issue to note for higher authorities. Finally the Board was dissolved and Pradeep Kariyawasam was tipped to be the NSB Chairman through influence” the same source told to CSE Leaks adding Kariyawasam had done so many controversial deals at SLIC too.