Sep 03, 2020 Newsdesk Latest News, Rest of Asia, Top of the deck
Donaco International Ltd, an operator of border casinos in Southeast Asia, says it has appointed Lee Bug Huy as the group’s new chief executive, effective on Thursday (September 3). The executive will remain on the company’s board as an executive director, said Donaco in a Wednesday filing.
Australia-listed Donaco runs the Aristo International Hotel, at Lao Cai, on Vietnam’s border with China, and Star Vegas Resort and Club, at Poipet, on Cambodia’s border with Thailand.
Mr Huy – who was appointed in August to Donaco’s board – was one of the two underwriters of an entitlement offer conducted in July that helped the casino group raise AUD14.4 million – about US$10.3 million at current exchange rates – before costs.
After completion of the latest share exercise, Mr Huy and Lee Bug Tong –the other underwriter – increased their relevant interest in Donaco to 42.12 percent. The two investors had been in previous litigation with the Donaco group.
According to the filing, Mr Huy “has extensive experience in gaming and casino management.” He was identified as a casino vice president for Star Vegas Casino and Resorts Co Ltd, “responsible for developing the model for the slot machine business”.
In Wednesday’s filing, Donaco said also it had appointed to its board Andrew Phillips and Issaraya Intrapaiboon as two Australian-based, non-executive directors. Paul Porntat Amatavivadhana – who joined Donaco’s board in August – has been appointed as the company’s non-executive chairman, it added. All the appointments are effective from September 2.
Mr Amatavivadhana is described as a founding principal and chief executive of Infinite Capital, a boutique corporate advisory firm based in Bangkok, Thailand. The document said he had “considerable experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and capital raising”.
As part of the board reshuffle process, Donaco’s chairman Mel Ashton and non-executive director Simon Vertullo have resigned from the company’s board.
The filing quoted the new CEO as saying that the company would be working to make sure its two casinos were “fully operational post Covid-19 and borders reopening.”
He added: “We will continue to execute our pragmatic cost control strategy while keeping the market updated with future developments.”
Donaco said earlier this week that it had narrowed its fiscal-year loss as of June 30, to just above AUD58.9 million, from AUD198.0 million a year earlier, even though the second half of the reporting period was affected by Covid-19. The firm warned in its results that the outlook for the next reporting period was clouded by ongoing travel restrictions in the region relating to the pandemic.
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