Hong Kong-listed gaming investor Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd on Friday said the firm’s impairment of trade receivables due from its 10 largest customers amounted to HKD1.27 billion (US$162.9 million) in the six months to June 30.
The company had reported last month an impairment of trade receivables of HKD2.08 billion for the first half of 2017, compared to HKD847 million in the prior-year period.
“The … provisions were made based on a review of individual customer’s facts and circumstances (such as financial position and ongoing dialogue on settlement arrangements), ageing of the outstanding amounts and any subsequent repayments,” the firm said in its latest filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Imperial Pacific has the right to an exclusive casino licence on Saipan, the main island of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a United States jurisdiction. The company began on July 6 gaming operations at its Imperial Pacific Resort (pictured). Previously it had been running an interim facility called Best Sunshine Live.
For the first half of 2017, Imperial Pacific posted a net profit of HKD912.0 million, up 8.9 percent from the prior-year period. The company reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of HKD7.27 billion for the first six months of 2017, with unaudited VIP table games rolling at approximately HKD196.3 billion, up 55.4 percent compared to a year earlier.
The company’s operating expenses increased by 207.7 percent year-on-year, to HKD2.92 billion, mainly due to the increase in impairment of trade receivables, the firm said last month.
In Friday’s filing, Imperial Pacific said its board “considered that the customers’ ageing of the trade receivables are comparable and in line with global industry standards for customers sourced through own marketing avenue instead of junket operators”.
The firm’s VIP customers primarily consist of credit players from China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Saipan, according to the company’s interim report.
Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc in April downgraded Imperial Pacific’s corporate family rating, citing concerns that the firm’s “high collection risk” on trade receivables was “unlikely [to] improve further over the next 12-18 months”. According to Moody’s, Imperial Pacific wrote off HKD300 million of trade receivables in 2016.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters