Taiwanese shipping giant First Steamship Company Limited has reportedly announced that it will be spending approximately $253,000 million over the coming weeks in order to acquire a 12.67% stake in Asian casino operator Summit Ascent Holdings Limited.

According to a report from GGRAsia, Taipei-based First Steamship Company Limited stated on Monday that the purchase involving almost 189 million Summit Ascent Holdings Limited ordinary shares is being conducted via its Heritage Riches Limited subsidiary in order to fulfill ‘long-term investment’ goals.

Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings Limited, which is controlled by local businessman Lawrence Ho Yau Lung of Melco International Development Limited fame, has reportedly operated the Tigre de Cristal hotel and casino in Russia’s Primorsky Krai gambling zone since late-2015 and has plans to premiere an expanded property by the end of 2019.

In related news, GGRAsia additionally reported that Monday saw Ho declare that he will be selling off the entirety of his around 20 million shares in Summit Ascent Holdings Limited, which represents a holding of 1.34%, with his Quick Glitter Limited vehicle following suit with its 16.03% interest. This disposal is purportedly due to be completed by the end of today and will result in the 41-year-old billionaire holding no direct stake in the casino-operating company.

GGRAsia explained that Ho’s move comes after a late-November report from brokerage firm Union Gaming Securities Asia Limited warned that a planned increase in Russian casino duties could possibly lead to Summit Ascent Holdings Limited’s annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization declining by as much as 6% year-on-year.

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