The Economic Services Bureau (DSE) said in a statement Sunday that it was unable to recover a 212 million patacas (US$ 26,424 million) loan granted to locally incorporated airline Viva Macau in 2008-09 and the latter’s Hong Kong-registered Eagle Airways as guarantor.
The loan was granted by the bureau’s Industrial and Commercial Development Fund (FDIC) after the airline hit financial turbulence in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2007-08.
The DSE statement that the fund had been unable to locate any of the guarantor’s assets.
Earlier yesterday, the Court of First Instance (TJB) said in a separate statement that it had decided to terminate its distraint procedures requested by the bureau’s fund against Eagle Airways due to the latter’s capacity as Viva Macau’s guarantor.
The court also said that it had tried in vain to sell Eagle Airways’ Viva Macau stake worth 25 million patacas which had been pawned at the request of the fund.
According to previous media reports, Viva Macau went belly up in March 2010 with debts totalling 1.14 billion patacas, involving 1,841 creditors, 35 of them owed more than one million patacas each.
Eagle Airways was Viva Macau’s main creditor, involving 469 million patacas. The bureau’s fund came in second with 212 million patacas.
According to the Portuguese local paper Hoje Macau, businessman Kevin Ho is a director in the Eagle Airways.
Kevin Ho is also a shareholder of the Portuguese media group Global Media.
Viva Macau was in business between 2006 and 2010, flying to 7 destinations in Australia and Asia with three aircraft. Macau Eagle Aviation was its parent company.
Local Fujianese businessman Ngan In Leng was Viva Macau’s chairman. “We mean the world to Macau,” was the company slogan.