The chairman of Greentown China Holdings Ltd. (03900.HK) has no gambling debts and has never traveled to the United States in the past two years due to health issues, Hong Kong Commercial Daily reported Sunday, quoting unnamed sources from the property firm.
Song Weiping suffers from claustrophobia which prevents him from making long-haul flights, the report said, citing a 2012 interview with him. He has not been on a plane since 2008, it said.
Earlier, Softbank Asia Investment Fund managing partner Yan Yan told a business forum in Beijing that Song had been flying in and out of Las Vegas and had amassed massive gambling debts.
Song was rumored to have gambled up to one billion yuan (US$160.4 million) more than 10 days in a row during the Chinese New Year.
Chief executive Shou Bainian said Song does not know Yan and Song has never been to the United States in the past two years.
Speculation about Song’s purported gambling debts swirled last week after Greentown was reported to be planning to sell a 30 percent stake to Sunac China Holdings Ltd. (01918.HK).
Meanwhile, Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group Holdings is in talks to acquire Greentown Football Club and Greentown Hospital, both of which are privately owned by Song, the report said.
In an open letter on the company website, Song said the decision to sell the stake to Sunac was taken after Shou announced his plan to retire.
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