SJM Holdings Ltd chairman Daisy Ho Chiu Fung, a daughter of Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho Hung Sun, has spoken of her support for the recently-announced alliance that now holds a majority stake in Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau SA (STDM); the controlling shareholder of Macau-based casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd.
The comments were attributed to an interview she gave to financial news agency Bloomberg
In Thursday’s story, Ms Daisy Ho reportedly said: “The shareholders in the alliance all possess irreplaceable goodwill, accumulated through prolonged understanding and exposure in various industry sectors in Macau and mainland China.”
She added: “Together with Timothy Fok [Tsun Ting], who is co-chairman of SJM [Holdings], we can leverage and apply these resources to further develop SJM’s competitiveness to pursue the new gaming concession.”
Mr Timothy Fok also leads the Henry Fok Foundation, which owns a 26.576 percent stake in STDM.
Ms Pansy Ho and the Henry Fok Foundation declared in January an agreement on a common position regarding the future of SJM Holdings and STDM. The agreement entails a common proposal for the composition of the board of the SJM Holdings subsidiary that owns the Macau casino licence held by the group.
Ms Pansy Ho and the Henry Fok Foundation together control about 53.01 percent of STDM stock. STDM controls 54.11 percent of SJM Holdings.
SJM Holdings chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai has also said the alliance was a positive for the SJM Holdings business.
Bloomberg stated that the comments by Ms Daisy Ho were the first she had given to the media since the alliance was made public last month. She and Ms Pansy Ho are sisters by birth, being daughters of Mr Ho’s second consort, Lucina Laam King Ying.
Ms Pansy Ho controls Hong Kong-listed shipping and property conglomerate Shun Tak Holdings Ltd, and is also co-chairperson of, and a significant shareholder in, Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd.
The Macau casino business founded by Mr Stanley Ho provided the gaming licence to her sister Pansy Ho Chiu King that enabled MGM Resorts International affiliate MGM China Holdings to enter the market.
SJM Holdings’ CEO Mr So recently said that – as of February 4 – the firm had not yet asked the Macau government for an extension of its current gaming concession, although those rights are due to expire in March next year. The firm’s HKD36-billion (US$4.6-billion) new Cotai project, Grand Lisboa Palace, is only likely to be completed by the end of this year, according to Mr So.
Macau law states that the term of a gaming concession cannot exceed 20 years. It also states that if a concession is awarded for a period shorter than 20 years, the government may authorise an extension, provided the period does not exceed the maximum aggregate term allowed in law. SJM Holdings’ concession was granted for 18 years only, and is due to end in 2020.
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”For the [Macau] government, I think if they can be sympathetic to the gaming industry – to the contribution that we have made for the community and the society – that will be good”
Vice-chairman at Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group