CASINO

Summit Ascent, Suncity Group new Hong Kong neighbors

TAGs: junket operators, primorye, Russia, summit ascent holdings, suncity group, tigre de cristal

summit-ascent-suncity-group-neighborsAn affiliate of Macau’s leading casino junket operator Suncity Group has moved its corporate headquarters next door to Primorye casino operator Summit Ascent Holdings.

On Thursday, Summit Ascent’s board of directors informed the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it had relocated its principal place of business to Unit 1704 on the 17th floor of the West Tower of Hong Kong’s Shun Tak Centre, a commercial complex built by former Macau casino icon Stanley Ho.

On Friday, Suncity Group Holdings Ltd announced that it had relocated its principal place of business to Unit 1705 on the 17th floor of the West Tower of Hong Kong’s Shun Tak Centre.

In other words, the two companies are now next-door neighbors. It’s unclear precisely what this means for the future of both companies, but their mutual leadership apparently sees value in eliminating the space between them.

Last November, Summit Ascent appointed Suncity’s chief investment officer Andrew Lo Kai Bong to its board as a non-executive director. At the time, Suncity held a 3.29% stake in Summit Ascent, which operates the Tigre de Cristal casino in the Primorye gaming zone near Russia’s far eastern port of Vladivostok.

Two months before that appointment, Summit Ascent reported that Tigre de Cristal’s VIP gambling turnover had fallen 22.5% in the first half of 2018, in part due to squabbles with junket operators seeking higher rebates. Summit Ascent said it was resisting these demands, choosing instead to focus on its premium mass gaming sector, but perhaps the company has had a change of heart.

Suncity Group Holdings is technically a separate entity from the privately held Suncity Group, which claims a 40% share of Macau’s casino junket business. But both companies are majority controlled by Alvin Chau.

Suncity Group Holdings was set up as a travel company to help ferry gamblers to casino locales where its junket sister firm has connections. But the company is also involved in a number of casino development projects in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Summit Ascent was once dominated by Melco International boss Lawrence Ho, but he sold his entire holdings in the company and stepped down as chairman in late-2017. Some of Ho’s shares were acquired by Taiwan-based shipping firm First Steamship Co Ltd.

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