â€œI am handing over the public-listed companyâ€™s business to the new directors and I will concentrate on cryptocurrencies,â€ said the 65-year-old.
The founder of Malaysian investment giant Country Heights Holdings is stepping down from his position to focus on issuing a cryptocurrency.
According to a Sept. 28 article in news outlet The Edge Markets, billionaire Lee Kim Yew â€” also known as Lee Kim Tiong â€” willÂ no longerÂ be the executive chairman of Country Heights as of Jan 2021.Â
â€œI am handing over the public-listed companyâ€™s business to the new directors and I will concentrate on cryptocurrencies,â€ said Lee.
The 65-year-oldÂ announcedÂ in 2018 that Country Heights would be pursuing the development of an initial coin offering, or ICO, for the firmâ€™s own cryptocurrency, reportedly called “Horse Currency.â€Â
Though the investment firmâ€™s shareholders initially approved the ICO plan at a meeting in 2018, Leeâ€™s decision to step down is currently one of the few options available that would allow him to legally pursue an ICO. In January, the countryâ€™s financial watchdog, the Securities Commission Malaysia, stated thatÂ ICOs must be issuedÂ only through approved crypto exchanges, not publicly traded companies.
Under these regulatory guidelines, one of Leeâ€™s private firms â€” once licensed â€” can take control of the Country Heights project instead, issuing tokens while the investment firm can still legally accept them. He claims to have â€œreceived all the approvalsâ€ necessary forÂ one of his investment firms to proceedÂ and plans to launch Horse Currency by the end of the year.
â€œMy investment banks are in operation and a white paper will be issued,â€ said the Country Heights exec.
If successful, Leeâ€™s ICO venture would make Country Heights one of the first publicly listed companies onÂ Malaysiaâ€™s stock exchangeÂ to accept crypto payments.Â
Before the regulatory change, initial reports of the ICO stated Lee planned to issue one billion tokens. The firmâ€™s subsidiaries, including a luxury resort called Palace of the Golden Horses and the Golden Horses Health Sanctuary â€” purportedly where the crypto asset gets its name â€” would accept the tokens for products and services. However, the exec said he would continue to pursue other aspects of the crypto space, including security token offerings.
Lee, who has served as executive chairman at the investment firm since 2016, is Country Heightsâ€™ largest shareholder, owning more than 27% of the companyâ€™s 275 million shares.
The firm currently has a market capitalization of roughly $72 million.