Casino News: Malaysian company

Malaysian company

 August 19, 2008, 7:02 am (10 years ago)
Malaysian media are guessing on how local company Hong Leong Company (Malaysia) Bhd’s aims to flourish from buying into UK Internet and land casino and bingo-club operator, Rank Group plc, as the Malaysian company come close to the 30 % shareholding level that needs that a invasion offer is produced.
Billionaire entrepreneur Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, who leads Hong Leong has progressively enlarged the company's holding in Rank from February this year with the newest buys growing his stake in Rank to 22.3 %, efficiently making him the UK company's largest stakeholder.

Hong Leong’s interest in Rank is held through units of Affiliate Company and Hong Kong-listed Guoco Group Ltd, and the collateral buys, together with those of an additional Malaysian company, Genting Berhad which holds 11 % have accelerated rumors of a bidding war, something which Genting has constantly denied.

Hong Leong’s original project into UK’s [land] gaming business, the Clermont Club casino, has barely been stellar. The company has not been operating fine after its attainment from Rank for GBP 31 million in 2006 via Hong Leong's generosity and leisure arm, Guoco Leisure Ltd. It seems that Hong Leong had forcefully submitted an application for casino licenses in the UK, most of which have been declined; the company now holds 3 casino licenses.

One analyst explained The Edge Daily in Malaysia: “Even though Rank was a inexpensive buy, gaming is not Hong Leong’s capability. We are unsure why Hong Leong keeps on pursuing the business."

Rank keeps on feeling the pressure of taxation, rule and submissive economic circumstances. For the 6 months to June 30, 2008, the land and online gambling group revealed incomes of GBP 257 million, a drop of GBP 27.6 million on the same time in 2007, came up with earnings previous to tax that was halved to GBP 17.6 million.

Rank chief executive Ian Burke had explained: “In the first half of 2008, we accomplished in stabilizing the group’s monetary activities, after a very tough end to last year. “Even though group income and operating earnings were considerably lesser than in the 1st 6 months of last year, our activities mirror a major development compared with the 2nd half of 2007. The trading background for all of our markets stays tough, with increasing operating costs and growing monetary pressures on our clients.”
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