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Macao's Suncity shares surge after majority shareholder named

Andrew Lo will lead junket operator; ex-chairman Alvin Chau faces charges

Suncity, a Macao junket operator that brings in high rollers to gamble in the city's VIP parlors, has been hit by the arrest last year of its former chairman and the collapse of VIP gambling.   © Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) -- Shares in Macao's Suncity Group Holdings more than tripled on Thursday after they resuming trading for the first time in nearly two months and the company said Executive Director Andrew Lo was its new majority shareholder.

At 0201 GMT, the shares had given up some of the gains but were still up 182%, valuing the company at around $130 million.

The company's previous chairman, Alvin Chau, faces charges including illegal gambling and money laundering and is due to be tried in September in the world's biggest gambling hub Macao. Chau has been detained pending his trial, while Suncity has denied wrongdoing.

Suncity, a Macao junket operator which brings in high rollers to gamble in the city's VIP parlors, has been hit by a series of blows, from Chau's arrest last year to the collapse of Macao's VIP gambling industry.

Beijing has taken aim at illegal capital outflows from the mainland, cracking down on the opaque junket sector and secretive banking channels.

Macao's government has tried to rein in the role of the junket operators with a new law barring dedicated junket rooms in casinos. Their influence is likely to be further diluted going forward, analysts have said.

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