Casino services firm Macau Legend Development Ltd on Tuesday bought back 1.97 million shares of its own stock for about HKD2.05 million (US$264,507), as its stock has been declining since at least June.
The latest announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for a small tranche of common shares is part of an exercise that began in late August. The entire process has seen Macau Legend so far buy more than 93.3 million of its own shares, for a total value of approximately HKD106.4 million, according to several regulatory filings.
Shares of Macau Legend have lost 66.3 percent of their value since April 9, falling to HKD1.05 at the closing of trading on Tuesday, taking the year-to-date return to a negative 64.3 percent, according to Bloomberg data.
Share buybacks typically have the effect of concentrating value for existing shareholders, say investment analysts.
Macau Legend on August 19 reported a loss of HKD68.4 million for the first six months of 2015. That compares with a profit of HKD226.4 million in the prior year period.
The firm additionally reported a year-on-year decline of 55 percent in adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) during the three months ended September 30, to HKD74.6 million.
Macau Legend, co-chaired by David Chow Kam Fai, runs two casinos in Macau: Babylon Casino at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf; and Pharaoh’s Palace Casino at the Landmark Macau, both on Macau peninsula.
The company is currently redeveloping Fisherman’s Wharf (pictured). The Harbourview Hotel, part of the redevelopment project, had a soft opening on February 2. The firm plans to add two more hotels, scheduled to be completed in 2016 and 2017 respectively, although it is facing some public opposition to its plans to increase the projected height of one of the hotel towers.
Macau Legend in July announced a deal with the government of Cape Verde to develop a casino resort in the West African country. The HKD2.15-billion project is due to be completed within three years.
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Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance