Hong Kong-based financial services company Sun Hung Kai & Co Ltd is among entities and individuals named as holding in combination just under 70 percent of the shares of Russian casino backer Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, thereby guaranteeing a HKD400-million (US$51.0 million) loan facility for Summit Ascent investor LET Group Holdings Ltd.
When Hong Kong-listed LET Group – formerly known as Suncity Group Holdings Ltd – announced last week that it was getting the loan, it did not identify four sources described as “independent third parties” said to be supplying it, but mentioned that approximately 69.67 percent of Summit Ascent’s shares were being pledged as a guarantee.
LET Group has interest – via the also Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent – in a hotel and gaming business at Tigre de Cristal in the Integrated Entertainment Zone of the Primorye Region, near Russia’s Pacific port of Vladivostok.
Now a Monday disclosure from Summit Ascent indicates that Sun Hung Kai and other parties have in concert held a 69.66 percent in Summit Ascent since September 19, the date of LET Group’s announcement on the loan.
In late August, Summit Ascent said it had returned to profit in the first half, on revenue that rose 37.4 percent year-on-year amid strong domestic demand among Russian consumers.
Andrew Lo Kai Bong, recently appointed chairman of LET Group, and of Summit Ascent, is a former business associate of ex-Macau junket boss Alvin Chau Cheok Wa. Mr Chau, who is currently on trial in Macau on criminal charges linked to his alleged activities with the privately-held junket entity Suncity Group, is a former chairman of the Suncity listco.
LET Group said in late August it had defaulted on the payment of a promissory note in the principal amount of HKD303 million, and two groups of convertible bonds with an aggregate value of HKD197 million. The note and bonds were owned by Major Success Group Ltd, a company wholly-owned by Mr Lo.
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