Lawrence Ho has resigned as a director and Chairman of the board of casino operator Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd after selling his 17.37% stake last month.
In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Summit Ascent said that Ho had stepped down from his roles as of 28 December 2017 “due to his cessation as a substantial shareholder of the company.”
Ho, best known as Chairman and CEO of both Melco International Development Ltd and its casino operations subsidiary Melco Resorts and Entertainment, revealed on 18 December that he was selling his entire 17.37% stake in Summit Ascent – owner of integrated resort Tigre de Cristal in the Russian city of Vladivostok – for around HK$271.6 million. He had previously sold his stake down from 27.71% earlier in the year.
It is believed that a possible doubling of Russia’s gaming tax, which could cost Tigre de Cristal an extra US$1.857 million a year, is behind Ho’s decision to sell.
Summit Ascent also announced that Ho’s place as Chairman would be filled instead by Kuo Jen Hao. In its filing, the company said that Mr Kuo, 41, is currently Chairman and General Manager of Taiwan-listed shipping company First Steamship Co. Ltd, of which he owns 12.67%.
He is also a director and Chairman of Grand Ocean Retail Group Limited, a company listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange and a subsidiary of First Steamship, a director of Taiwan Environment Scientific Co. Ltd, a director of IRC Properties Inc and a non-executive director of Sandmartin International Holdings Limited.
Mr Kuo has entered into a letter of appointment with the company for three years from 28 December 2017, Summit Ascent said.