Asian casino investor Lawrence Ho Yau Lung (pictured) has trimmed his ownership in Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, the lead developer of the Tigre de Cristal casino resort in the Russian Far East.
The businessman sold nearly 133.1 million shares in Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent last week to cut his direct holding in the company to 18.75 percent from 27.06 percent, according to shareholding disclosures to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Mr Ho sold the shares for an aggregate amount of approximately HKD166.7 million (US$21.3 million).
The disclosures filed last week also showed that Quick Glitter Ltd – an entity wholly owned by Mr Ho according to previous Summit Ascent filings – has likewise reduced its stake in Summit Ascent.
In a total of four transactions between September 5 and 8, Quick Glitter also sold approximately 133.1 million shares in Summit Ascent, trimming its stake to 16.06 percent from 24.37 percent, for the same consideration received by Mr Ho for sale of part of his personal stake.
According to last week’s disclosures, Mr Ho’s wife, Sharen Lo Sau Yan, sold nearly 123.5 million shares in Summit Ascent, for an aggregate amount of HKD151.3 million. Ms Lo now holds an 18.75-percent stake in the company.
The public disclosures did not say why either Mr Ho, his wife or Quick Glitter had sold down their respective holdings in Summit Ascent. GGRAsia approached Melco International Development Ltd – a casino investment firm controlled by the gaming entrepreneur – for a comment, but the company said it would not do so, on the basis the matter concerned a private investment by Mr Ho.
Commenting on the share sale, Summit Ascent executive director Eric Landheer told GGRAsia: “None of the executive directors or senior management of the company were made aware of our chairman’s intent to sell Summit Ascent shares into the market at any time prior to the public disclosure, nor did they sell any shares in Summit Ascent prior to this disclosure.”
Summit Ascent is a majority investor in a casino project in the Primorye region of Russia. The firm posted a loss of HKD5.4 million for the first half of 2017, compared to a profit of approximately HKD5.5 million a year earlier.
The company said last month that it expected to open the first stage of Phase II of its Tigre de Cristal property “in the second half of 2019”.
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