It was recently reported that Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, a well-known casino investor based in Macau, is considering selling off his shares in Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd. This is the developer which is behind the operation of Tigre de Cristal casino located at the Primorye Russian Far East. As it was confirmed, the stake belonging to the Asian businessman amounts to 20 million shares which equals as much as 1.34 percent of the total number of shares in the company. Following closely suit is Quick Glitter Ltd. owned by the casino investor, which will also step off its position in Summit Ascent.
The announcement of the two decisions was made through a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this Monday marking a new phase in the operation of the casino developer. The entity owned by Mr. Ho is planning to sell its shares which amount to some 238.6 million shares. This means that as much as 16.03 percent of Summit Ascent’s issued share capital is going to be liquidated as Quick Glitter makes its way out of the casino developer. The Asian businessman is a chairman, non-executive director, and he has in his possession a large chunk of Summit Ascent.
As for the decision to sell the shares, it was agreed with the placing agent and they will be sold at the price of HK$1.05 (US$0.13) per a single placing share. For the task of placing Sun Hung Kai Investment Services Ltd. is going to be responsible. The Hong Kong-listed brokerage is planning to finalize the procedure by 20th December this year. This is going to put an end to the prominent presence of Mr. Ho in the Asian casino developer. According to the information listed this summer, he was the largest shareholder in the holding at the end of the month of June. The combined percentage of shares of him and Quick Glitter then amounted to 27.71 percent.
Timeline of Lawrence Ho Share Moves
It could be recalled that the month of September saw similar news when Mr. Ho decided to significantly reduce his influence in the casino developer. Back then the Macau-based casino mogul sold shares amounting to some $21.3 million, and by doing this he shaved a large chunk of his stake. Following the decision, he owned about 18.75 percent of the shares in Summit Ascent Holdings. In the meantime, Quick Glitter also sold another $21.3 million worth shares. The probable reason for the decision of Mr. Ho to sell his shares in the casino developer is the Russian Duma’s plans to increase the tax on gaming devices throughout the Russian Federation.
Last month saw the approval of a draft bill which strives to hike the to levy per gaming table to 250,000 rubles (US$4,280) as well as the maximum tax levy on gaming machines from 7,500 rubles, to 15,000 rubles (US$257). At the moment the flat tax on gaming tables amounts to 125,000 rubles, and it was confirmed that the potential increase of it is going to hit Summit Ascent’s earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization for next year. The negative impact is expected to amount to about HK$11 million (US$1,407,560), which equals a 6 percent hit.