Jul 25, 2016 Newsdesk Latest News, Macau, Top of the deck
Hong Kong-listed gaming services firm Amax International Holdings Ltd says the temporary closure (pictured) of Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel – where the already-shuttered Casino Greek Mythology is located – “will not have any material impact on the financial position of the company”.
The firm stated in a Friday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange: “As advised by the company’s lawyer in Macau, under the law of Macau, Greek Mythology can continue the operation notwithstanding the close-down of the hotel.”
Amax has – according to Friday’s filing – a 24.8 percent stake in an entity called Greek Mythology (Macau) Entertainment Group Corp Ltd. The latter, described in the 2016 annual report of Amax International as an associate and the operator of the Greek Mythology casino, has refused to provide “valid financial information” to Amax International since 2012, resulting in a “lengthy legal dispute”, according to the annual report.
The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) ordered on Friday a temporary closure of Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel for a period of six months. The sanction on the hotel was the result of “serious administrative irregularities” and “illegal reconstructions”, according to Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, MGTO’s director.
The property located in Taipa, was formerly known as the New Century Hotel. It was renamed the Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel in 2013.
Casino Greek Mythology, inside the hotel premises, was shut down on December 31 last year by the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau – in a measure described at the time as a “temporary closure”. That was at the request of casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd, which provides the gaming licence for the casino.
Following Friday’s announcement by the government regarding the closure of Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel, Amax suspended trading of its shares on the Hong Kong bourse with effect from 1pm that day. Trading resumed on Monday morning: at noontime, the price of the firm’s stock was down by about 7 percent.
In its Friday filing, Amax stated that, “having sought legal advice from the company’s lawyer in Macau on the possible impact of the [hotel temporary closure] decision to the group and possible appropriate actions to be taken by the company, the company is of the view that as the decision involved various governmental departments in Macau including MGTO, lengthy and numerous communication with these governmental departments is needed before conclusion could be reached.”
The document added: “The company could only conclude any appropriate actions to be taken after communicating and clarifying with various governmental departments in Macau to make a detailed assessment of the overall situation.”
Amax said it meanwhile had agreed to form a special working committee on the matter with the firm in-charge of the hotel. The body “will work closely with MGTO and other relevant [government] departments” with an aim to resume the hotel operations “within six months”.
Amax added that, although the casino and hotel operations were independent, “the temporary close-down of [the] hotel may have negative impact on the number of visitors and [the casino’s] business plan.”
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