Posted on: May 19, 2022, 08:41h.
Last updated on: May 19, 2022, 09:02h.
Suncity Group is trying to pick up the pieces following its recent administrative and financial troubles. There’s a new man ready to steer the junket operator’s future, with a senior executive purchasing its controlling shares.
Andrew Lo Kai Bong is now in a position to determine where the company heads. The Suncity senior executive acquired the shares last week, according to a company filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).
Suncity didn’t reveal the pricing of the transaction. However, it indicated that Fame Select Ltd had completed the exercise. Fame Select was involved in the sale of the controlling shares of former chairman Alvin Chau, as well as his business partner Cheng Ting Kong. Before that, Chau had control of 74.85% of Suncity through Fame Select.
New Direction for Suncity
Currently, Lo is an executive director at Suncity, as well as the deputy chairman and executive director at Summit Ascent. Suncity, in addition to its junket operations, also manages and develops casino resorts across Asia Pacific through affiliated companies. On the other hand, Summit Ascent owns the Tigre de Cristal integrated resort in Primorye, Russia.
Lo’s purchase of Suncity’s controlling shares also gives him a controlling stake in Summit Ascent. Fame Select held 69.66% of Summit Ascent prior to Lo’s acquisition.
The HKSE disclosure reveals that Lo also purchased Suncity Group Holdings’ convertible bonds. An enigmatic company, Major Success Group Ltd., previously owned those bonds.
Lo also has a significant role in the development of a Suncity project in the Philippines. In May of last year, he became a board member of Suntrust Resort Holdings, previously known as Suntrust Home Developers. The entity is building a casino in Manila’s Westside City Project, and Suncity owns 51% of the company.
Lo’s appointment came at the same time as that of another Suncity executive. Summit Ascent Executive Director and CEO David Chua Ming Huat joined him at Suntrust as a member of the board. The two replaced Joey Villafuerte and Josephine Marie Salazar, who resigned just ahead of the appointments.
Lo Enters the Spotlight
Lo and Chau obviously have a long-standing intimate relationship. This might ultimately prove to be an issue, especially since Lo may have some skeletons of his own in the closet.
Five years ago, a gang ambushed Lo as he was leaving a sauna in Hong Kong. One of the assailants attempted to attack him with a knife, but he managed to escape.
However, law enforcement felt that the attack had links to a triad. Anti-triad police launched an investigation and, following the attack, arrested two Hong Kong men and a female. Police released them a few days later after they posted bail.
Detectives believed that the two non-Chinese men who attacked Lo were paid by a triad boss. Junkets have a notorious reputation of alleged triad connections, allegations that landed Chau in trouble last year. Given the relationship between the two, Lo will undoubtedly become a bigger target for authorities now.