Shares in Asian casino promoter Landing International Development Ltd began on Friday morning (March 20) to be available again for public trading, after a pause since 9am on Thursday.
The group said in a Thursday late-evening filing that the reason for the pause had been that it had learned on Wednesday that a claim of receivership of some other – privately-held – shares related to the overall ownership entity of Landing International Development had been “discharged” and those shares released.
The filing added that mainland businessman Yang Zhihui, group chairman, had “confirmed” there was therefore “no change in the ownership” of a company that is the ultimate owner of Landing International Development.
Landing International Development created a resort with foreigner-only casino, called Jeju Shinhwa World, on South Korea’s Jeju Island. The gaming portion of the facility – Landing Casino – opened in February 2018.
The Thursday late-evening filing added “no bona fide offer has been communicated to the board,” regarding any attempt to take over the business, and therefore the board had “no reason to believe” that such an offer might be “imminent”.
The document added, referring to Hong Kong bourse rules: “For the purposes of the Takeovers Code, the offer period in respect of the company closed on the date of this announcement.”
A filing earlier on Thursday evening had said that the audit of the group’s financial results for the year to December 31 had been “delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease”. The group will now publish its unaudited annual results for 2019 on March 31.
Earlier this month Landing International Development Ltd said it expected to record an increase in its net loss for full-year 2019 of “not less than” 160 percent judged year-on-year. One of the reasons for the anticipated loss was a decline in gaming revenue, the firm said.
In November last year, Mr Yang had said he would “take all necessary and appropriate actions to protect his interests” after Landing International Development disclosed that just over half the shares in an offshore firm that is its ultimate owner had been claimed by two people acting as receivers.
The holding related – as stated in the filing at that time – to 50.48 percent in Landing International Ltd.
According to Landing International Development’s 2018 annual report, filed with the Hong Kong bourse on April 29, Landing International Ltd is a British Virgin Islands vehicle. It is the “ultimate holding company” of Landing International Development, and Mr Yang is the offshore entity’s sole shareholder.
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"There’s a huge amount of possibilities out there and in the case of Macau, it seems that some of these issues should be considered or we may lose the epithet of gambling capital of the world"
Macau-based lawyer and senior partner at law firm Rato, Ling, Lei and Cortés