Guoco Group, a subsidary of the Asia-based investment group Hong Leong (Malaysia) Berhad run by Malaysian billionaire Quek Leng Chan, has once again increased its stake in the British land and online gambling group Rank plc, part of a steady stakebuilding exercise that has been taking place since January this year, when it held around 4 percent.
In the latest shares acquisition Guoco has pushed its holding in Rank plc from 18.08 percent to 22.33 percent.
Guoco has reportedly been looking to build a base in the UK casino market, albeit with limited success. BIL, its subsidiary, made substantial losses in the first six months of its Clermont land casino ownership and has won only four out of 19 licence applications to build casinos, mainly within its Thistle hotel chain.
Guoco is not the only company interested in Rank; the Asian group Genting has a shareholding, and the Richardson family, whose businesses are in property and haulage, are believed to have an interest of about 11 percent through contracts for difference.