An official from the regulator of casinos on the South Korean holiday island of Jeju has told GGRAsia that the body is “monitoring” the situation regarding Hong Kong-listed casino developer Landing International Development Ltd and the operation of the latter’s Jeju casino resort Jeju Shinhwa World (pictured) as conducted by a subsidiary.
The casino developer has been in in the news internationally after it told the Hong Kong bourse on August 23 it had been “unable to contact or reach” its chairman, mainland Chinese businessman Yang Zhihui, that day. It has given no public update on Mr Yang’s whereabouts since then.
In an emailed statement to GGRAsia, a representative from Jeju Casino Regulatory Division said that the unit had “no special actions planned” regarding Landing International and its local unit at the moment. The regulatory body did not give further details regarding its monitoring brief.
Landing International announced to the Hong Kong bourse on Friday the appointment of two new executive directors with effect from September 1.
One of them was Xu Ning, described in the filing as the spouse of Mr Yang. The latter is deemed to be interested in just over 1.48 billion shares of Landing International. Such shares are beneficially held by a company wholly-owned by Mr Yang and represent approximately 50.48 percent of the issued share capital of Landing International.
Ms Xu, who had served before in the firm as an executive director between October 2, 2013 and June 17, 2016, will be entitled to a director’s fee of HKD4.8 million (US$611,496) per annum under the current directorship.
The other newly-appointed executive director is Chan Mee Sze, who was most recently an executive director to Hong Kong-listed asset management firm OCI International Holdings Ltd.
In February Landing International opened a foreigner-only casino at its Jeju Shinhwa World resort on Jeju. The gaming business boosted the firm’s first half profit this year, which jumped 478 percent year-on-year to HKD280.6 million. The firm has also posted gross gaming revenue of HKD2.41 billion for the interim period, compared to HKD174.5 million a year earlier.
The firm was to pursue the opening of a self-branded hotel at the Jeju casino resort complex under the moniker Shinhwa Resort within this year. By 2020, it also aims to open a Four Seasons Resort and Spa, and a theme park called Lionsgate Movie World, according to the firm’s previous statements.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China