Lawrence Ho Yau Lung (pictured), chairman and chief executive of casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, has been awarded American depositary shares with a market value of nearly US$15.2 million, according to a Thursday filing by the parent company, Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Ltd.
The 2,052,206 restricted depositary shares valued at US$7.40 each, are equivalent to 6,156,618 Melco Resorts shares. The shares will be vested to Mr Ho in four tranches, between this year and April 2025.
Melco Resorts runs casinos in Macau, a property in the Philippine capital Manila, and gaming venues on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
The size of the award had been determined with reference to Mr Ho’s “duties and responsibilities as director of a subsidiary of Melco Resorts in Macau, where the majority of the group’s business is located,” said the filing.
The restricted shares granted represent approximately 0.42 percent of Melco Resorts’ issued shares as of the date of the announcement, said the document.
“The purpose of the … grant of restricted shares to Mr Ho is for incentivising and motivating him to strive for the future development of the Melco Resorts group and its businesses,” stated the parent company.
The share grant was announced as Melco Resorts seeks to extend – alongside the other five operators in the Macau market – its gaming licence for about six months, to December 31.
The Melco group confirmed last week that it had “filed an application with the Macau government” for the extension of its gaming licence, and that it “will be required to pay an extension premium” of up to MOP47.0 million (US$5.8 million). It also said it would have to “provide a bank guarantee in favour of the Macau government for the payment of potential labour liabilities” should the group “not be granted a new concession” or have its licence further extended after December 31.
Melco Resorts posted a net loss attributable to its shareholders of US$811.8 million for full-year 2021, an improvement from the US$1.26-billion loss in 2020.
On Wednesday, the parent company announced that it was replacing its existing share option scheme, introducing revised terms, including a much lower exercise price. Melco International said the move was because the original scheme was longer attractive for grantees, following a sharp decline in the company’s stock price.
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