Tiger Resort Asia Limited (TRAL), which owns the Okada Manila hotel and casino resort, is closer to being listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) through a majority-owned company.
In a filing, Asiabest Group International Inc. (ABG), purchased last September by TRAL, announced that the PSE “effected the lifting of the foreign ownership restriction” on the company. ABG had pointed out that it was “not subject to foreign ownership restrictions considering that it is no longer engaged in the construction business and currently operates as a holding company.” Construction is one industry among many where foreign ownership is limited by the Philippine Constitution.
“It is confirmed that the previous foreign ownership restriction on Asiabest has been lifted by the PSE effective 7 November 2018 and as such, the shares of stock of the Company can be wholly or 100% owned by foreign nationals,” ABG said.
TRAL is owned by Japan-based Universal Entertainment Corp. (UEC). It had purchased 200 million shares, about two-thirds of ABG, for approximately $12 million.
TRAL-owned Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI) had earlier expressed interest in going public in the Philippines, in order to “accelerate its growth and raise its name recognition.”
Among ABG’s existing subsidiaries are mining companies Alta Minera, Inc. and Breccia Resources, Inc., and real estate company Millionaire’s Offices and Properties, Inc.
TRLEI has also set up a Tokyo branch, in anticipation of the construction and opening of three-large scale casinos in Japan, as provided by the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation law passed last July.
Remaining unresolved is the matter of former TRLEI chairman Kazuo Okada’s place in the company. He had been removed from his position last year, and is now contesting this at a Metro Manila court.
Okada has sought to find out details on the acquisition of ABG, which he said he had not been consulted on, even though he holds a significant stake in TRAL.