Pansy Ho Continues Trimming MGM Stock Stake, Now Below One Percent

Posted on: June 4, 2021, 10:35h. 

Last updated on: June 4, 2021, 11:05h.

Pansy Ho, co-chairperson at MGM China Holdings Ltd., continues paring her stake in MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM). She now owns less than one percent of the US casino giant.

Pansy Ho
MGM China Chairperson Pansy Ho at the Vision China conference in 2019. She sold more MGM stock. (Image: China Daily)

In a series of sales spanning May 26 through May 28, Ho sold 2.01 million shares of the Bellagio operator, reducing her position in the name to 0.96 percent from 1.36 percent. She last cut her stake in MGM stock in February of this year, following several sales in late 2019.

The eldest daughter of Macau gaming scion Stanley Ho came into the MGM shares by way of a 2016 transaction in which the Las Vegas-based gaming company boosted its position in MGM China to 56 percent. At that time, she controlled 22.5 percent of MGM China – a stake she maintains to this day.

That deal and another with the late Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp. gave Ho a 4.8 percent ownership of MGM equity.

Again, Good Timing for Ho Selling MGM Stock

Documents filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange indicate Ho grossed $86.05 million in her latest sales of MGM stock. She sold at averages prices of $42.51 on May 26, $42.81 the following day, and $43.65 on May 28.

Over the course of her various MGM divestments, Ho’s timing has been impressive. Her most recent sales came at prices that were roughly 50 percent above the stock’s 2021 low of around $28. The shares slumped in the first half of May, but Ho sold into a rebound late in the month.

Prior to the February and May sales, Ho didn’t reduce her MGM stake in 2020, meaning she avoided selling while the shares were sliding due to the coronavirus pandemic. Her 2019 departures from the stock were also well-timed, as shares of the Mirage operator rallied late that year. MGM stock is up 35 percent year-to-date and 110 percent over the past 12 months.

Speaking of MGM China…

At the virtual Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference earlier this week, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle provided an update on the MGM China operation, noting the operator’s mass market business is hovering around 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

MGM China’s first-quarter revenue rose nearly nine percent on a year-over-year basis, but Macau’s overall recovery remains sluggish. A recent uptick in coronavirus cases in neighboring Guangdong province, coupled with the special administrative region’s (SAR) zero-tolerance policy regarding the virus, is keeping travel restrictions in place.

Hornbuckle said at the conference that MGM China stands to benefit as VIP junkets wane and the model goes in-house.

As that market shifts away from junket to in-house VIP, we have been ideally structured over many decades in Asia, with our branch system – whether it’s in Hong Kong or in other places – to know those customers, and to be openly able to market to them, and bring them into the properties, through arrangements we make directly,” he said.

The operator runs MGM Macau on the peninsula and MGM Cotai on the Cotai Strip.