• Thu. Sep 16th, 2021

Hong Kong Billionaire Tony Fung Quits Aquis Board Over ‘Battle of Curiosity’


Sep 1, 2021

Posted on: August 31, 2021, 01:29h. 
Final up to date on: August 31, 2021, 03:35h.

Philip Conneller Learn Extra

Billionaire Tony Fung has retired as chairman and non-executive director of Canberra-based Aquis Leisure, stressing the necessity for the board to be unbiased of its main shareholder. Fung holds slightly below 90 p.c of Aquis, which owns On line casino Canberra within the Australian capital.

Tony Fung, pictured, as soon as hoped to construct an $8 billion megaresort near the Nice Barrier Reef. (Picture: SCMP)

“Mr. Fung’s retirement comes at a time the place the business is going through competing pursuits in revenue versus components similar to accountable administration of downside playing and cash laundering points, and usually talking, accountable administration to justify the retention of the ‘social license’ to retain a gaming license,” learn an organization submitting to the ASX.
Fung’s withdrawal from the board suggests he has been following latest regulatory developments regarding Crown Resorts.
A public inquiry in New South Wales not too long ago criticized Crown’s largest shareholder, James Packer, for retaining a “deleterious” maintain over the board, regardless of having stop his government place a number of years earlier.
Inquiry chair Patricia Bergin highlighted a secret information-sharing settlement between Packer and the Crown board that was not obtainable to different shareholders, which she stated may quantity to insider buying and selling.
A$307 Million Growth on Maintain
Having bought On line casino Canberra in 2014, Aquis has been in ongoing talks with the state authorities to redevelop the underperforming property and the encompassing space into an leisure district at a value of A$307 million. As such, Fung is reluctant to offer regulators any purpose to dig their heels in any deeper.

It isn’t laborious to see how my household’s curiosity as a monetary lender and majority shareholder to the on line casino enterprise might look like a battle of curiosity in relation to the precedence of non-profit components,” stated Fung. “As such, I really feel that it’s applicable to step again and make sure the Firm receives stewardship by an unbiased board.”

Fung based and later exited the Solar Hung Kai Financial institution in Hong Kong. Along with his involvement within the on line casino enterprise, he owns a non-public funding enterprise and has change into a number one investor throughout a spread of sectors in Asia, the US, and Australia.
Obstacles to Reef Resort
He first made a splash Down Beneath in 2013 with a controversial proposal to construct an A$8 billion (US$5.8 billion) megaresort on line casino in Cairns, Queensland, near the Nice Barrier Reef.
In 2015, Aquis was awarded most popular developer standing for a regional on line casino license for the mission. However the firm put it on maintain a 12 months later, and it’s unclear whether or not it should proceed.
In 2018, Fung sought to make an exit from Canberra, too. However his try to promote the on line casino to Blue Whale Leisure fell by final 12 months after Blue Whale failed to realize approvals from the state gaming regulator.

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