Chairman of T&T stock exchange quits following controversial shares purchase

(Trinidad Express) – Subhas Ramkhelawan yesterday resigned as an Independent senator and as chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE).

Ramkhelawan remains the managing director of his brokerage company, Bourse Securities, which is the subject of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on its role in the purchase and sale of former First Citizens chief risk officer Philip Rahaman’s 656,688 bank shares.

Rahaman used Bourse Securities to purchase the shares from the employee bucket at the bank during its initial public offering (IPO), and Bourse also acted for the buyer of the shares when it was put on the market on January 14.

The Express exclusively reported on the market manipulation on January 14 where the share was priced above market at $42.15, which allowed Rahaman’s family-—Imtiaz Rahaman (chairman of Bourse Securities); his mother, Alia Rita Rahaman; and five companies from the Rahaman family-controlled Rahamut Group—-to acquire the exact 634,588 shares disposed of in the transaction.

The Express understands Ramkhelawan’s resignation from the positions comes two days after he held discussions with Attorney General Anand Ramlogan on the matter on Tuesday evening.

Asked on Thursday about this meeting, Ramlogan said: “He hasn’t been to my office. We had no meeting at my office.”

At a news conference at 3.30 pm at the Kapok Hotel, St Clair, yesterday, Ramkhelawan said his resignations were a mere “coincidence” to Ramlogan’s earlier statements at the post-Cabinet briefing at 2 pm.

Ramlogan said he had referred the matter, which was investigated by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the acting Commissioner of Police, “for them to investigate this matter, with a view to laying charges against person or persons for breaches of the Securities Act or conspiracy to defraud”.

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