Posted on: May 19, 2022, 8:41 a.m.
Last update: May 19, 2022, 8:43 a.m.
Suncity Group is trying to pick up the pieces following its recent administrative and financial setbacks. There’s a new man set to lead the future of the junket operator, with a senior executive buying his controlling shares.
Andrew Lo Kai Bong is now able to determine where the business is heading. The senior Suncity executive acquired the shares last week, according to a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).
Suncity did not disclose the transaction price. However, he said Fame Select Ltd ended the financial year. 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 controlled 74.85% of Suncity through Fame Select.
New direction for Suncity
Currently, Lo is Executive Director of Suncity, as well as Vice President and Executive Director of Summit Ascent. Suncity, in addition to its junket operations, also manages and develops casino resorts throughout 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 the controlling shares of Suncity also gives it a majority stake in Summit Ascent. Fame Select owned 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 held these bonds.
Lo also has an important role in the development of a Suncity project in the Philippines. In May last year, he became a board member of Suntrust Resort Holdings, formerly 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 comes 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 board member. The two replaced Joey Villafuerte and Josephine Marie Salazar, who resigned just before the nominations.
Lo steps into the spotlight
Lo and Chau obviously have a long-standing intimate relationship. This could ultimately prove to be a problem, especially since Lo might have his own skeletons in the closet.
Five years ago, a gang ambushed Lo as he emerged from a sauna in Hong Kong. One of the attackers tried to attack him with a knife, but he managed to escape.
However, law enforcement believed the attack had triad ties. Anti-triad police launched an investigation and, following the attack, arrested two Hong Kong men and a girl. The police released them a few days later after posting bail.
Detectives believed the two non-Chinese men who attacked Lo were being paid by a triad leader. The Junkets have a notoriously famous reputation for alleged Triad connections, allegations that got Chau in trouble last year. Given the relationship between the two, Lo will undoubtedly become a bigger target for authorities now.