Edmund Ho is a member of the family headed by the redoubtable Stanley Ho. He is 88 years of age and worth, according to Forbes, around $7 billion although that may have slipped slightly. He is a member of the Ho Tung family of Hong Kong which was undoubtedly the most powerful family in the area.
This is not to suggest he had a golden upbringing.
Although his family was originally very wealthy, he started his business on his own. When he was 13 years old, his father lost vast sums of money in the stock market crash and went bankrupt. Consequently, Ho’s two elder brothers committed suicide, and his father abandoned the family, leaving him with his two elder sisters and his mother.
(A point of historic interest: the writer in 1952 saw Sir Robert Ho Tung, the head of that clan being loaded into a sedan chair outside Swire House. And twenty years later was served wine by Stanley Ho wearing a white coachman’s wig. And later did an interview for the Hong Kong Standard with Stanley Ho’s daughter Pansy Ho. Top that for a historic association.)
Where was I? Right. Air China Group, the parent company of the listed company, is holding a 51% stake in Air Macau. If the deal happens, it will raise its holdings of Air Macau to 52.25%. Very much a controlling interest. (Our illustration is of inflight staff taking part in a Smile Contest. They are not involved in the negotiations.)
For Air Macau this is probably a hope of salvation. For Air China it makes never no mind for, according to an analyst from the Shenyin Wanguo Securities, sales from Air Macau will be about one thousandth of Air China’s total revenues.