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Silvia Pavlof November 27, 2023 3 min read
MGM China Refutes Rumors of Pansy Ho Share Sell-Off
Pansy Ho holds a substantial stake in MGM China, which most recently totaled 380 million shares
MGM China has categorically dismissed rumors suggesting that its co-chairperson and executive director, Pansy Ho Chiu King, has any intention of reducing her shareholding in the company. Reports from Hong Kong media had suggested that up to 380 million shares in MGM China were recently shifted into the Central Clearing and Settlement System (CCASS), triggering speculation about Ho’s possible divestment.
MGM China Maintains Pansy Ho’s Steadfast Position
The share rearrangement occurred in two stages – first in mid-October through Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) and later in mid-November via BNP Paribas. Contrary to market speculation, MGM China clarified that these transactions were part of previously arranged dealings between Ho and her custodian banks and did not signify any sell-off, reported Macau Business.
MGM China’s financial performance for the third quarter of 2023 showcased resilience, with net revenue reaching $813 million, marking a notable 10% increase compared to the same period in 2019, pre-pandemic. The adjusted property EBITDAR also witnessed a robust ascent by 23% from the second quarter, amounting to $226 million. Analysts at JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) noted that the figures exceeded expectations by 3%, primarily driven by gains in the company’s share of the mass market.
Pansy Ho, the eldest daughter of Macau casino patriarch Stanley Ho, is a significant shareholder in MGM China, holding the entirety of her equity interest, which recently amounted to 380 million shares. Although Ho has a track record of reducing her stake in MGM Resorts International since 2019, she has consistently maintained her position in MGM China.
Market Fluctuations Pose Hurdles for Pansy Ho’s Potential Divestment
Market observers suggested that even if Ho were contemplating a sale, the current climate may not be conducive. Macau casino stocks have recently experienced a dip, with all but MGM China touching their lowest levels since early 2022. This could potentially dissuade Ho from any significant divestment, given her historical aversion to selling low.
At the same time, investors from Asia and beyond are increasingly turning to Macau casino debt, viewing it as a more lucrative and potentially less risky option than corporate debt or shares. The recovering gross gaming revenue in Macau has attracted attention, signaling a brighter future for the region.
Despite Macau stock prices struggling to reach pre-pandemic levels, investing in bonds is seen as a more secure option, with trust in Macau casino bonds leading to credit rating upgrades for companies like Sands China and Melco. The appeal also stems from Asia’s low default rates and a decrease in overall bond market supply due to the departure of many Chinese firms.