Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wing Cheung Tony Fung #1

What to make of this latest twist ?  Aquis $4.2bn mega resort and casino proposal at Yorkeys Knob on hold with red tape blamed  

Mind you the facebooked response from the Member for Cairns was serious! King Parrot invoked an inspirational quote from Abraham Lincoln and then immediately surpassed that with a post on that old media tart Laura Norda, the political distraction equivalent of a tabloid page three titty-girl. 

Meanwhile, the Member for Barron River was silent. Perhaps deliriously happy at the prospect the family trust business may now be free to offer horsey rides around the arse-end of the subject property for another year?  

The news of potentially a years delay for the project attributable to the ubiquitous "red tape" appears to have been an exclusive from Aquis to our old mate Nick Dalton. Poor Nick! Even I feel sorry for him now that he has had to endure a lecture from Gavin King who insightfully warns:
"If more than a decade in newspapers taught me anything, it's that you shouldn't believe everything you read in newspapers."
Indeed. If it took him a decade to learn (and implement) that as a paperboy then one can only wonder what trust can be placed in his preaching as a politician? This is now looking a bit messy and Aquis is emerging with the potential to even surpass Tom Hedley for corporate entertainment! 

So, what has actually transpired to incur another episode of irrational community angst? This passage in Nick's exclusive, apparently directly quoting Justin Fung, really is all we need :

"However, the Queensland Government's Integrated Resort Development (including casino licence) application process announced just prior to Christmas means the project may take longer than we had hoped or anticipated and there is a high level of uncertainty about the outcome.
"As a result of these delays it is proper to put the project's Environmental Impact Statement on hold pending the outcome of the casino application process. This could result in a delay of up to 12 months from our originally anticipated start date of July 2014."
Now lets take the last paragraph first. There wasn't a sensible person within cooee of Cairns who wasn't surprised at the speed with which Aquis presented their EIS after the terms of reference were finalised. Rumours persist that the concerns of rival consultants have been muted by fear of commercial consequences.

The timeframe initially proposed was that the EIS would be released for a public consultation period before Christmas. This was then pushed back into the new year. It now seems that the EIS didn't pass muster with the Co-ordinator-General even to be released for public consultation so was sent back for "fine tuning".

So now the EIS wont be released until the casino licence process, announced in November, is completed. I'm not sure what was ever expected here? The gaming authority in NSW is currently investigating the Packer Crown casino proposal at
Barangaroo for approval. This is expected to take a few months but only because there has been a recent investigation lasting more than a year when Packer moved to increase his stake in Echo (Sydney Star & Jupiters) beyond 10%. That is despite Crown being a comparatively transparent ASX listed entity.

The yarn doesn't seem to have been reported anywhere outside Cairns? Should one suspect that Aquis spinner PR Crook has bowled up a flipper? Crook also delivers the spin for Professor Clive Palmer and his 'Team Titanic'.

Which brings us back to Wing Cheung Tony Fung. Despite a very publically known family background not the most transparent individual. Perhaps he has been overlooked somehow but the billionaire databases at Forbes and Bloomberg don't seem to embrace his oft claimed billionaireness?

The Fung family background is not questioned and older brother Thomas, based in Canada, is quite well known. Information at Thomas' Fairchild website includes an article which describes young Tony as "the bad boy of stock markets". Never mind there is a glowing citation from the Chinese University of Hong Kong where his father Fung King Hey had been a major benefactor and even had a building named after him.

When it comes to the suitability of Tony Fung for a casino licence there is a legal blot which reflects rather poorly and rightly needs to be considered, although this was now some time ago. The report in the South China Morning Post is a good account and particularly damning: Words don't come cheap for SHKS

So lets next look at the Australian corporate entities of Wing Cheung Tony Fung and some implications .........

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