Macau VIP room promoter Iao Kun Group Holding Co Ltd is reducing its financial dependence on two founding executives in order to pursue a dual listing in Hong Kong.
Lam Man Pou, a veteran of Macau junket room operations from the days of Stanley Ho Hung Sun’s casino monopoly prior to 2002, and Vong Hon Kun, respectively executive officer and director of the company, have terminated a loan agreement first made in February 2010. Iao Kun said so in a press release.
“The parties agreed to terminate the guaranty obligations for the reasons of the company’s financial independence and to minimise reliance on the lenders, which conform with the listing standards in Hong Kong,” said the firm.
Iao Kun has been pursuing a dual listing for more than a year. The Hong Kong exercise is expected to be what’s known as a ‘listing by introduction’.
This is the same method used by Nasdaq-listed Macau casino developer Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd when it made a dual listing in Hong Kong in December 2011. In such a process, a company that has shares issued on another exchange can – subject to local regulatory approval – list its shares in Hong Kong without raising new funds or issuing new shares.
Asia Entertainment & Resources Ltd – as Iao Kun was previously known – had an initial public offering on Nasdaq on August 15, 2008, with a launch priced at US$6.00 per share. At the close of business on Wednesday New York time, Iao Kun was trading at US$3.13 per share.
Iao Kun is entitled to receive all of the profits of the VIP gaming promoters from five Macau VIP rooms.
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"The Hong Kong protests may hurt Macau gross gaming revenue by about mid-single-digit (i.e., half of maximum visitation exposure), which should fade away gradually as people will find alternative ways to visit Macau”
DS Kim, Jeremy An and Christine Wang
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd