Macau concessionaire MGM China says its Chairperson and Executive Director, Pansy Ho, has no intention of selling off her 22.5% stake in the company, despite recently depositing 380 million shares – the exact amount of her holding – into the Hong Kong Exchange’s Central Clearing and Settlement System (CCASS).
The deposit has sparked speculation that Ms Ho intends to reduce her shareholding given that placing shares in CCASS is known to allow holders to buy or sell shares more quickly by way of securities dealers or banks.
While records show 150 million shares being deposited via Standard Chartered Hong Kong on 11 October and another 230 million shares via BNP Paribas on 15 November. MGM China told Hong Kong’s Economic Times that MGM China had denied any such moves, claiming instead it was an arrangement between Ms Ho and her custodian banks.
The 380 million shares in question are worth about HK$3.63 billion (US$466 million) at Tuesday’s closing price.
MGM China earlier this month reported net revenues of US$813 million for the three months to 30 September 2023, 10% higher than pre-COVID levels thanks to the provision of 198 additional gaming tables under its new 10-year gaming concession.
Despite this, the company’s share price remains well down on its five-year high of HK$16.42 achieved in March 2019.