Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed firm controlled by the boss of privately-held Macau casino junket brand Suncity Group, says it expects to narrow its first-half loss by “15 percent to 25 percent” year-on-year.
Suncity Group Holdings is an equity investor in the under-development Hoiana casino resort scheme in Vietnam and will also manage the casino and food and drink operations there. The listed firm – which also has deals either to manage or advise on casino operations at several third-party owned venues in the Asia-Pacific region – reported a net loss of nearly CNY1.65 billion (US$233.6 million) for the first half of 2018.
Suncity Group Holdings also controls a nearly 28-percent stake in Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, the promoter of Russian casino resort Tigre de Cristal.
The listed entity said in a Wednesday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that the likely narrowing of a first-half deficit in 2019 would be mainly due to a decrease in loss of approximately CNY499 million relating to change in fair value of derivative financial instruments, “offset in part” by an anticipated “decrease in gross profit” of approximately CNY125 million for the six months to June 30.
That would be primarily due to a “decrease in revenue from sale of properties of the group” and an increase in loss of approximately CNY57 million in respect of the change in fair value of investment properties of the group during the relevant reporting period.
An executive of the firm told GGRAsia in an interview in June last year that listed entity was in the process of selling off some property interests in mainland China, but that the process would “take some time”.
The firm noted in its Wednesday filing that its consolidated management accounts for the first half had not yet been confirmed or reviewed by its auditor or the firm’s audit committee and might be subject to change.
The group’s interim results are due to be announced on August 29.
Suncity Group Holdings had noted in a filing on August 5 that neither it nor its controlling shareholder and chairman Alvin Chau Cheok Wa – who is also the boss of the privately-held Suncity Group casino junket brand – were as of that date being investigated by authorities in Australia.
Suncity Group Holdings does not list on its balance sheet any of the junket-related businesses run by privately-held Macau Suncity Group.
The Suncity junket brand was mentioned recently in Australian media reports alleging that VIP gambling operations at Australian casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd had been infiltrated by criminals for the purposes of money laundering.
John Alexander, executive chairman of Crown Resorts, said in prepared remarks issued with that firm’s financial-year 2019 results on Wednesday, that his group had “zero tolerance for criminal elements” in relation to its business.
The Suncity junket brand – which confirmed to GGRAsia this week it was closing for commercial reasons a VIP operation it had run at Crown Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria – has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
It was also reported this week that Mr Chau was claiming via Australian lawyers that he had been defamed by a number of media allegations, including a report in Melbourne-based The Age newspaper that cited unnamed sources in Australia suggesting he had been banned from travelling to that country.
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