HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 23 February 2021 - Suncity Group Holdings Limited ("Suncity", Hong Kong Stock Exchange code: 1383) and Summit Ascent Holdings Limited ("Summit Ascent", Hong Kong Stock Exchange code: 102), are pleased to announce that staff in Tigre de Cristal has started to receive Russia's self-developed Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccination. This is a move by the Government to safeguard the health and safety of the Russian citizens, our staff and our guests, as well as a move to prepare the country to go back to normal soon.
As a number of countries in the world are rolling out mass COVID-19 vaccination programmes, the normalisation of the economy and the re-opening of international borders are just around the corner.
The Russian Federation has begun vaccinations in Moscow early in December 2020, among the first countries to launch its vaccination programme in the world, and has already approved mass use in other cities including Vladivostok, where Tigre de Cristal is located.
Tigre de Cristal has taken the highest precautionary measures recommended by the Russia authorities to the highest standards, such as turning off every other slot machine and capping the seating capacity in restaurants. Compliance to these rules has reduced the ability of Tigre de Cristal to generate revenue. A silver lining is that Tigre de Cristal is an integrated resort not only visited by international travellers, but also an integrated resort well-attended by locals. Since the reopening of Tigre de Cristal after the temporary closure in 2020, Tigre de Cristal has recorded a decent recovery in the mass table and slot businesses in the second half of 2020. The injection of the vaccine to our staff offers a glimpse of hope that business could soon return to normal. Currently, Tigre de Cristal's Phase I upgrade on hardware such as the newly decorated Suncity VIP room, the brand-new authentic hot pot restaurant and the gentlemen's club are now ready to welcome international travellers when the borders reopen.
Phase II of Tigre de Cristal is well under way, and will triple the existing number of hotel rooms, as well as doubling in the number in its current gaming facilities. Phase II will also feature additional leisure and entertainment facilities such as the finest restaurants serving authentic Asian delicacies, ranging from Korean barbecue to international flavours serving fresh seafood; as well as a state-of-the-art indoor beach club. With the COVID-19 vaccination programme now being available to the general public, we are certain that both the Phase I upgrade and Phase II will soon be generating accretive business volumes to the Group in the direct VIP, junket VIP, premium mass, mass and slots businesses as international travel gradually resumes.
Mr. Chau Cheok Wa, Chairman of Suncity, also Chairman of Summit Ascent, said, "The vaccine is a breakthrough in humanity because this is an indication that humans can win the pandemic. I cannot be more grateful to the Russian Government, the research and medical staff in Russia for their tireless work in developing the vaccine and their determination to go back to the normal lives where people are allowed to travel freely. Their decisive and ambitious actions to prioritise vaccinating Russian citizens, including our employees working in Tigre de Cristal, is a tell-tale sign to us that Asia is on its way back to normality. When our customers from across Asia are allowed to travel again, I am certain that this will mark a new era for outstanding business performance in Summit Ascent, especially Suncity will fully back Summit Ascent as it is now a subsidiary of Suncity."