New chief for Bhutan Times weekly
October 10, 2009: As the financial crisis deepens in the first private newspaper of the country, Bhutan Times, its managing director and deputy managing directors have resigned from the post last week.
Giving farewell to MD Tenzin Rigden, the publication house has received Wangcha Sangey as new MD. The chairman of the board of directors of the company, Sangey comes from legal background. The new MD said he will soon initiate an internal audit to find out the real financial situation of the company and check management flaws.
Rigden had submitted a six-month leave last month but an emergency board meeting relieved him from the job on October 1.On October 4, the board of directors published an announcement in BT stating the dire financial position of the Nu 40m worth company, which floated shares in 2007.
The company has suffered a loss of Nu 5.39m in the first half of 2009 and its current liability is more than Nu 5m including an overdraft bank loan of Nu 3m. The DPT owes Nu 1.579m and PDP owes Nu 1.74m to the paper. the notice published by the company said, three organizers of the Citizens Initiative for Coronation and Centenary Celebrations (CICCC), Tenzin Rigden, Dorji Wangchuk and Tshering Gyeltshen, have not paid it Nu 4.53m “after they made full and liberal use of all the resources of BT including bank overdraft facility, establishment facilities, manpower, transport, materials and printing resources.”
When company’s management didn’t have the half-yearly accounts ready for a board meeting in June, the management was asked to call an extra-ordinary meeting in July to present the accounts.
The company still has an uncollected amount of about Nu 15m while the total payable is about Nu 7m to 8m. Interestingly, the company had declared a dividend of 20 percent worth a total of Nu 8m in 2008. After the distribution of dividend, the company failed to create a working capital and started operating on overdraft facilities. BT had 288 shareholders as of 2008 end. Major shareholders hold 82.26% of shares and individual investors the remaining 17.74%. The latest trading was in February this year with 300 shares traded at Nu 105 a share.
Sangey said he has already convinced four other board members for additional money and three of them have given Nu 500,000 each.