Casino developer Landing International Development Ltd says it has been “unable to contact or reach” its chairman, mainland Chinese businessman Yang Zhihui, since Thursday (August 23).
“The company is making attempts to contact Mr Yang,” the firm said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the evening that day.
Several industry sources told GGRAsia that Mr Yang (pictured in a file photo) had reportedly last been seen in Cambodia. GGRAsia contacted Landing International for comment, but the firm declined to do so.
An image was circulating online during the day showing a person resembling Mr Yang airside on an airport’s tarmac, being escorted in handcuffs by two men. In the background of the photograph can be seen an aircraft in the livery of Lanmei Airlines Co Ltd, a Chinese-owned low-cost airline registered in Cambodia.
GGRAsia has made attempts to identify the source of the image, and to confirm whether it is a genuine image of an actual event, but has been unable to do so.
Landing International noted in its Thursday evening filing: “To the best knowledge of the board, the business operations and financial positions of the group are normal.”
It added: “Since the day-to-day business operation and management of the group has been undertaken by the group’s senior management team, the board currently does not expect that the temporary absence of Mr Yang would have any material adverse impact on the daily business operations and financial positions of the group. The board will further assess relevant impacts on the group.”
The filing gave no reasoning for its assertion that the absence of Mr Yang would be temporary.
In February the group opened a foreigner-only casino at its Landing Jeju Shinhwa World resort on the South Korean island of Jeju.
The firm is also pursuing a casino project in Manila in the Philippines.
The company had requested suspension of its shares on Thursday morning, after they lost 35 percent of their value in the first 90 minutes of daily trading.
The evening filing said the company had applied to the Hong Kong bourse for the resumption of trading in its shares with effect from 9am on Friday.
The announcement clarified that a company owned by Mr Yang owns in turn 50.48 percent of the total issued share capital of Landing International.
Thursday evening’s filing said, referring latterly to Hong Kong securities law: “The board is not aware of any reasons for these price and volume movements or of any information which must be announced to avoid a false market in the company’s securities or of any inside information that needs to be disclosed under… the Securities and Futures Ordinance.”
At the end of the document the group gave a standardised warning required under Hong Kong Stock Exchange rules. “Shareholders of the company and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the company,” it stated.
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Andrew Lo Kai Bong
Executive director of project investor Suncity Group