It seems investors appear to have given their backing to Pansy Ho Chiu-king as the casino queen after shares of Shun Tak Holdings and SJM Holdings rose on Thursday morning after she gained the upper hand in her battle for control of the Macau casino holding company co-founded by her father, “King of Gambling” Stanley Ho Hung-sun. Shares of SJM Holdings jumped nearly 10 per cent to HK$7.96 while Shun Tak Holdings rose as much as 7.7 per cent in Hong Kong to HK$2.79 on Thursday after an agreement between Pansy Ho and her allies giving her influence over the casino empire. Their combined stake in Macau casino operator Sociedade de Turismo e Diverso˜es de Macau (STDM) is now bigger than the stake held by the magnate’s fourth wife, Angela Leong On Kei. This will strengthen Pansy Ho’s control over STDM and its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary SJM Holdings. As Shun Tak’s managing director, Pansy Ho, the eldest of the tycoon’s five children with his second wife Lucina Laam King Ying, signed an agreement with the Fok Foundation, Lanceford and Interdragon to maintain STDM’s 54 per cent stake in SJM Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed casino subsidiary of STDM, according to a filing on Wednesday. SJM is chaired by her sister and ally, Daisy Ho Chiu-fung. Angela Leong could not be reached for comment. Under the agreement, all parties will also extend the gaming concession in Macau held by SJMSA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SJM Holdings, and its continued contribution to STDM and its shareholders as a fundamental asset and source of revenue, according to the filing. SJM’s gaming concession will expire in March 2020. Its chief executive, Ambrose So, said last year the company would seek a two-year extension of the licence before its expiration date. STDM monopolised Macau’s gambling industry as the only licensee for casinos for decades. It was founded in 1962 by four tycoons – Ho, Henry Fok Ying-tung, Yip Hon and Teddy Yip. In 2002, the Macau government started issuing more licences, ending this monopoly. ‘King of Gambling’ Stanley Ho is sued by his nephew for HK$2 billion in unpaid share dividends That same year, Fok transferred his shares to the Fok Foundation. The Stanley Ho family and the foundation currently own about 53 per cent of the issued shares in STDM. The Fok Foundation currently owns a 26.576 per cent stake in STDM. Interdragon, which is owned by Shun Tak Holdings and STDM, holds a 10.796 per cent stake. Lanceford, whose shareholders include Pansy Ho and her siblings, has a 10.538 per cent share. Shun Tak directly owns 4.985 per cent of STDM and Pansy Ho has a direct stake of 0.117 per cent. “The agreement between Pansy Ho and the Fok Foundation confirm she and her allies have majority control of the STDM and hence SJM Holdings. With a single majority voice, this will remove the uncertain of the battle between different shareholders on the future development of the casino company. This has attracted investors to buy shares of SJM and Shun Tak,” said Gordon Tsui Luen-on, managing director of investment at Hantec Pacific in Hong Kong. Louis Tse Ming-kwong, director of Hong Kong brokerage VC Wealth Management, said the agreement has helped to bolster investor confidence in Shun Tak and SJM. “The share price rose on the news of the agreement, which may well be only a short term phenomenon. For the longer term, investors would need to wait to see if the new alliance can really help SJM and Shun Tak to improve their business development and profit before they would further invest in the company,” Tse said. The “Ho Interests” – which refers to Shun Tak Holdings, Lanceford, Interdragon and Pansy Ho – and the Fok Foundation have “continued to discuss between themselves and reached a consensus on matters relating to STDM, such as the constitution of its board and its business objectives”, the filing said. Retired, but still in the building: Stanley Ho’s four-decade grip on the world’s biggest casino hub Ho, 97, has rarely been seen in public since a fall at his home in 2009. He retired from SJM in June last year and ceded the chairmanship to Daisy Ho, the second of four daughters and a son from Lucina Laam. According to the filing, all parties will submit a common proposal and jointly agree to the appointment of a chairman and managing director when it is time to vote on the election of STDM board members, the next such occasion being on or before March 31. SJM shareholders approve casino mogul Stanley Ho’s retirement as he cedes reins to his heirs They will also facilitate the equal involvement of directors nominated for election by the Fok Foundation and by the Ho Interests in operating and managing STDM. All parties under the agreement will also implement best practices on corporate governance and legal and regulatory compliance across STDM, the filing said. SJM Holdings’ shares rose by 1.1 per cent to HK$7.20 on Wednesday in Hong Kong.