Alvin Chau Cheok Wa (pictured), founder and chairman of the Macau junket brand Suncity Group, has been appointed as non-executive director and chairman of Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, the promoter of Tigre de Cristal, a casino resort in the Russian Far East.
Summit Ascent confirmed the move in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday.
The same announcement said Philip Wong Pak Ling, the chief financial officer of privately-held Suncity Group, had been appointed a non-executive director of Summit Ascent.
In April, Suncity Group Holdings Ltd – a company also quoted on the Hong Kong bourse – said it had increased its interest in the stock of Summit Ascent to about 27.97 percent. Suncity Group Holdings is controlled by Mr Chau.
Tigre de Cristal, near the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok, has been targeting gamblers from neighbouring China and other markets in East Asia.
Eric Landheer, an executive director of Summit Ascent, told GGRAsia on the sidelines of the recent Global Gaming Expo Asia 2019 casino trade show and conference in Macau that the involvement of the Suncity brand would be a “significant positive” for Tigre de Cristal.
A recent report from brokerage Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd said VIP gambling turnover at the Russian casino might rise by as much as 250 percent year-on-year in 2020 with the involvement of Suncity.
Some investment analysts say that junket brand is the largest-single contributor to VIP volume in the Macau gaming market.
Suncity Group Holdings – which does not include any profit streams from Macau gambling junkets in its filed accounts – has been increasing its gaming investments into markets beyond Greater China. That is both in terms of new-build resorts such as Hoiana in Vietnam, due to open later this year; and in terms of deals to manage third-party-controlled properties in other markets, such as Cambodia.
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DS Kim, Amanda Cheng and Livy Lyu
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific)