Shareholders demand forensic audit on Asia Capital

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Some shareholders of Asia Capital PLC are asking for a forensic audit from the capital market regulator on the company’s accounts and past management.

Allegations of pilfering and siphoning out the company’s money were made against the then management. The issue escalated when in late August 2020, the long standing Japanese shareholders with nearly 15 per cent in the company were demanding their money amounting to US$18 million plus interest and legal fees claiming no return on investment due to serious derelictions by the management.

The Japanese investors had said that they lost faith and confidence in the then Director/CEO Stefan Abeyesinhe and two Chief Operating Officers Reyhan Morris and Sandun Hettige who subsequently resigned in August 2021.

In a new development, the company has made a proposal to Seylan Bank after the courts called parate on the two hotels of the company. Here, by the 11th of this month, the bank has to give instructions to the court on the settlement plan to recover Asia Capital PLC’s outstanding loans. Sources revealed that this settlement plan will also not become exposed as the bank may not accept it.

Last August in a stock exchange filing, Asia Capital PLC said that it was taking steps to safeguard the group’s hotel assets worth Rs. 2 billion following the sale on bank filing recovery action of over Rs. 572 million outstanding.

“The performance of the company was inextricably linked to the performance of the tourism industry, and hence the impacts of the challenges faced over the fiscal year in this segment are reflected in the performance of the Group as the anticipated recovery remains elusive amidst the rise in costs, especially electricity,” the Asia Capital disclosure added.

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