Hong Kong billionaire Cheng Yu Tung died on Thursday, according to a family statement. He was 91.
Mr Cheng (pictured) was perhaps best known to the public for heading the retail chain Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, part of Hong Kong-listed Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. He was also a longstanding business associate of Macau gaming tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun.
In 1982 Mr Cheng bought a 10 percent stake in Mr Ho’s Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau SA, also known as STDM. For four decades until 2002, STDM was the holder of a Macau casino monopoly; the firm is now the controlling shareholder of SJM Holdings Ltd, one of the six licensed Macau casino operators.
Mr Cheng’s son, Cheng Kar Shun, has been a non-executive director of SJM Holdings since 2013, following his father’s retirement from the SJM Holdings board.
Mr Cheng senior was also involved in the development of the casino hotel Le Royal Arc, in Macau, a project headed by Angela Leong On Kei and operating under the casino licence of SJM Holdings. Ms Leong – the fourth consort of Mr Ho – is an executive director of SJM Holdings.
The Cheng family interests in the casino sector spread beyond Macau. Its Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd – a privately held conglomerate – acquired a controlling stake in a US$4-billion Vietnam casino project in September 2015. The scheme involves Macau junket investor Suncity Group and VinaCapital group, a major investment management and real estate development firm in Vietnam.
Chow Tai Fook is also involved in the development of a casino resort in Brisbane, the capital of the Australian state of Queensland.
In 2014, Mr Cheng’s family showed interest in investing in junket investor Suncity Group, without a deal being effected.
The Cheng family also controls Hong Kong property developer and hotel operator New World Development Co Ltd.
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George Choi and Ryan Cheung
Analysts at Citigroup