Hong Kong (AFP) Jan 27, 2011
Macau tycoon Stanley Ho is suing relatives he has accused of trying to steal his vast casino empire, the latest twist after a bizarre TV appearance that seemed to end the nasty family feud.
Within hours of appearing on a local television station to say the row had been resolved, the 89-year-old tycoon filed a lawsuit late Wednesday in Hong Kong's High Court. The suit seeks an injunction to stop relatives from claiming ownership over his SJM holdings, the centrepiece of Ho's $3.1 billion fortune.
The claim, which appears to be signed by Ho, also seeks unspecified damages against four of the 11 defendants, including three of his children -- two of whom, Pansy and Lawrence Ho, run rival gambling concessions in Macau.
It alleges the group "improperly and/or illegally" moved to change the share structure at a holding company that ultimately controls Ho's flagship firm, whose interests including 17 Macau casinos and several hotels.
On Thursday, Gordon Oldham, a lawyer acting for Ho, insisted Ho had been coerced into reconciling with family members on live television on Wednesday, with the wheelchair-bound tycoon struggling to read a giant cue card.
"He said that he felt very pressurised by his family to read out that statement. He wasn't at all happy in doing so", Oldham told Hong Kong broadcaster Cable News.
The feud has garnered international media attention, much of it focused on the colourful Ho -- who turned the former Portuguese colony of Macau into Asia's gambling capital -- and his complicated family tree with 17 children born to four women whom he refers to as his wives.
Oldham has told AFP that Ho was legally married only to the first woman, Clementina, who died in 2004, and that the rest were mistresses. The South China Morning Post reported that Ho also married his second wife, Lucina Laam, before Hong Kong's polygamy laws changed in the early 1970s.
Laam is a defendant in the lawsuit along with Ho's third "wife," Ina Chan.
Observers said the giant clan has long been wracked by internal strife, with nasty sibling rivalries and a reputedly tight-fisted patriarch. The disputed share transfer gives the bulk of Ho's fortune to his second and third families.
"Some of the kids have the reputation of being distinctly damaged goods, and who knows what they are capable of," said author Joe Studwell, whose "Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia" takes an inside look at the region's super-rich.
On Wednesday, Ho and Clementina's daughter Angela Ho questioned whether her father wanted to cut her and her two living siblings out of their inheritance.
"My father has always prided himself on being a fair, just and honest person and I cannot believe that may father would leave my mother's family with nothing at all," she said in a statement.
Angela Ho added that efforts to contact a trio of daughters from her father's second and third families had failed, saying "they have ignored me".
The aggrieved daughter said her mother's connections were key to her father securing a monopoly on Macau casinos from the 1960s until 2002, when the city granted licences to rival firms including some major Las Vegas players.
Macau, the only city in China that allows casino gambling, has boomed with about $23.5 billion in gaming revenue last year -- four times as much as the Las Vegas Strip.
Ho, once a keen ballroom dancer known for his playboy lifestyle, was hospitalised in mid-2009 for unspecified reasons and released months later, stoking questions about the future of his gambling empire.
Shares in Hong Kong-listed SJM fell 3 percent on Thursday to HK$12.72 ($1.63), with the stock down almost 12 percent since the now-disputed share transfer was made public on Monday.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Global Trade News
China world's third most visited country: UN
Madrid (AFP) Jan 26, 2011
China has replaced Spain as the world's third most visited country, behind France and the United States, figures from the UN World Tourism Organisation showed Wednesday. China had 55.98 million international arrivals last year, up 10 percent, edging past Spain, which received some 53 million foreign tourists, a rise of 1.4 percent, according to figures released by the Madrid-based body. ... read more
EU extends hacker-induced emissions trading halt|
World Can Be Powered By Alternative Energy In 20-40 Years
Save Dollars And Lives With Alternative Energy At Forward Operating Bases
Beacon Power Begins Commercial Operations In New York
South Korea, a green growth model
Unit of China's CNPC to buy 19.9% of Australia's LNG
New Transistor For Plastic Electronics Exhibits Best of Both Worlds
Iraq quietly rows back on lofty oil plans
Construction Begins On Dempsey Ridge Wind Project
India's Suzlon wins $1.28 bn wind power deal
German wind sector hopes for 2011 comeback
U.S. behind China in wind power energy
Centrosolar Scores TSMC Europe Project
Solar Thin-Film Manufacturers Enticed To UK By Vibrant Solar Market
Dymon Power Corporation Awards Contract To Ontario Solar Provider
The Practical Full-Spectrum Solar Cell Comes Closer
Russia to help Belarus build nuclear power plant
China to boost nuclear power
Poland eyes EUR25 bln investments as it goes nuclear
Nuclear cleanup plant questioned
Agave seen as excellent biofuel source
Team Looks To The Cow Rumen For Better Biofuels Enzymes
Agave Fuels Global Excitement As A Bioenergy Crop
Biofuels Production From Integrated Seawater Agriculture System
Slow progress in U.S.-China space efforts
China Builds Theme Park In Spaceport
Tiangong Space Station Plans Progessing
China-Made Satellite Keeps Remote Areas In Venezuela Connected
China farmers to get $15 bn subsidies amid drought
Man, Volcanoes And The Sun Have Influenced Europe's Climate Over Recent Centuries
Studying Cycles: Chemistry And Climate
Climate change: Dogs of law are off the leash
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|