Troubled mainland casino builder Landing International Development has been reshuffling its board this month, with an executive director having exited the company, and a non-executive director having been added to the developer’s top decision making body.
The board moves come as Landing’s chairman Yang Zhihui this month also announced that he would file suit against attempts by representatives of the company’s investors to assert receivership rights over a majority of the Hong Kong-listed developer’s shares.
Landing, which has been dogged by controversy since it shortly after it listed in Hong Kong through a backdoor listing in 2013, created a casino on Korea’s Jeju Island which saw its gaming revenues nearly disappear in the first six months of 2019.
The company has also attempted to launch projects in Singapore and the Philippines, with its license for a $1.5 billion Manila area project having been cancelled in 2018.
Crown Resorts Veteran Joins Landing
In an announcement to the Hong Kong exchange on 9 January, Landing announced that Zhou Xueyun had resigned from her role as executive director and authorised representative of the company, “due to her other personal commitment.”
Zhou, who had been with the Anhui-based company as an executive director since it achieved its Hong Kong listing in 2013, was replaced as executive director by former Crown Resorts executive Yeung Lo.
Lo, currently 50 years old, had served as a senior vice president with Crown Melbourne from 2015 to 2017 before operating as chief executive of Gongzi (Macau) Investment Co Ltd from 2018 to early 2019.
On 15 January, Landing followed up by appointing Hong Kong CPA Li Chun Kei as a non-executive director. Li, who is licensed by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission to supervise the activities of public companies in the city, has previous experience with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Receivership Claim Disputed
Landing’s chairman early this month announced his plans to sue Glen Ho Kwok Leung and Lai Kar Yan, a pair of Deloitte directors acting in the capacity of receivers for investors who own 50.48 percent of the listed company’s stock.
Ho and Lai had declared to the Hong Kong stock exchange on 5 November that they were the lawful receivers of Landing International, representing the developer’s investors, who have not been named.
Yang, who was detained in Cambodia and brought back to the mainland “to assist with an investigation” in August 2018, has indicated that a BVI company under his sole ownership is “the ultimate holding company” of Landing International and declared the claim of receivership invalid. Landing announced in November 2018 that Yang had returned to the company.
Korean Project Swing to a Loss, Philippine Casino Cancelled
In September, Landing had informed its shareholders that Philippines authorities had officially notified the company that its license for a casino in the country had been revoked. The company had broken ground on a planned $1.5 billion casino resort in the country during August 2018, with President Duterte declaring soon after that the project would not be allowed.
Landing opened parts of its planned Jeju Shinhwa World resort on Jeju Island in nearly two years ago, however, the company declared a HK$835.6 million ($106.5 million) loss for the first six months of 2019. That loss was mainly due to a decline of 94.3 percent in gaming revenue for the foreigner-only resort. The company has also struggle to sell units in the residential portion of the resort.