Shares in Landing International Development Ltd. continued to fall through the end of last week on the news that the company still could not located its chairman, Yang Zhihui. The plummet was the largest single-week drop for the company and leads many to wonder what lies ahead for the company.
Shares had already fallen due to rumors surrounding the company. When Yang went missing in action, with reports of a possible apprehension by police in Cambodia, things took a turn for the worse.
When the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where Landing shares are traded, closed on Friday, the company’s share price had dropped to $0.40. This followed a drop a day prior from $0.73 to $0.479 within 90 minutes. When that freefall started, Landing requested that the stock exchange suspend trading. As of Friday, the company’s market capitalization was reported as $1.18 billion, a drop of 74% since April.
Within just a week, the share price has dropped a total of 42%. Since January, the stock has continued a decline, falling 83% in total.
According to Chinese financial media outlet Caixin, Yang is rumored to be a target of mainland authorities investigating individuals tied to China’s Huarong Asset Management Co. Ltd. The state-owned company is under scrutiny due to complaints of alleged corruption by its former chairman, Lai Xiaomin.
According to reports, a Huarong unit lent approximately $84 million in 2016 to a holding company owned by Yang. That debt was allegedly guaranteed personally by Yang.
Landing has been involved in a dispute regarding plans for a casino in the Philippines. The $1.5 billion project expected to be built in Manila is now in doubt, after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly cancelled Landing’s land lease contract. However, Yang has still maintained that the project was moving forward, in spite of the contract cancellation.
With Yang missing and the company’s stock price losing virtually all of its value, the Manila casino, as well as the rest of the company’s projects, are going to have serious doubt cast upon them. The company’s only casino resort, Jeju Shinhwa World in South Korea, is owned primarily by Yang, who controls a 50.5% stake. If he is forced out, it could cause a major shakeup for both Landing and Jeju Shinhwa.