Nasdaq-listed casino developer and operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd has granted American depository shares (ADSs) valued at approximately US$5.1 million to its chairman and chief executive Lawrence Ho Yau Lung (pictured).
The firm said in a Tuesday filing that the award – of restricted shares in respect of 177,127 ADSs, equivalent to 531,381 ordinary shares – was “to recognise Mr Ho’s contribution to the success and development of the Melco Resorts group and to incentivise and motivate him to continue to strive for the future development of the Melco Resorts group and its business.”
In February Melco Resorts – which owns and operates casino resorts in Macau and operates City of Dreams Manila in the Philippines via a subsidiary – posted an 88 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit, and hiked its quarterly dividend by 50 percent. For full-year 2017, Melco Resorts reported net revenue of US$5.3 billion versus US$4.5 billion in the prior year. Net income nearly doubled to US$347.0 million, compared to US$175.9 million in full-year 2016.
In other developments recently, the group has also declared itself a contender for a casino licence in Japan.
The restricted shares awarded to Mr Ho as an incentive will be allotted and issued to him in two stages: the first batch on March 29, 2020, and the second batch on March 29, 2021.
The market value of the shares as quoted in the filing is based on a closing price of US$28.98 per Melco Resorts ADS as quoted on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on March 29 this year.
The restricted shares granted represent approximately 0.036 percent of Melco Resorts’ issued share capital, according to Tuesday’s filing.
Melco Resorts is 51-percent owned by Melco International Development Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed firm that is separately pursuing a casino opportunity on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau