NagaCorp Ltd, the operator of the NagaWorld casino resort (pictured) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, says it has commissioned “an independent professional party to review the internal controls of the company and its subsidiaries…with a focus on anti-money laundering”.
The firm gives the information in its interim report for 2014, filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday, adding that the findings of the review will be given in NagaCorp’s annual report for the year ending December 31, 2014.
In February this year, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force – originally set up by the G7 club of rich countries in 1989 – said in a report about the financial system of Cambodia as a whole: “…the FATF is not yet satisfied that Cambodia has made sufficient progress in improving its AML/CFT [combatting the financing of terrorism] regime, and certain strategic AML/CFT deficiencies remain.”
The grouping acknowledged however that Cambodia had taken steps to tighten its controls.
In its interim report, NagaCorp also said it had engaged another advisor called Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd (PERC), “to assess the investment risks in Cambodia”.
The consultant said in its findings published in NagaCorp’s Monday filing, that on a scale of 0 to 10 – with 10 being the greatest risk – its latest survey gives Cambodia an overall risk grade of 5.85. It said that was a deterioration from a year ago.
PERC stated: “Cambodia is experiencing more labour unrest and the possibility of political change in the medium term is higher, but the economy is continuing to grow rapidly (by 7 percent or more in real terms), demonstrating its increasing depth and resiliency. Key industries like tourism are continuing to grow rapidly, as foreign tourists are not being put off by the news of labour demonstrations.”
NagaCorp in August said revenue for the first half of 2014 increased by 26 percent year-on-year to US$191 million, on strengthening play by foreign customers from across the region at NagaWorld. The resort is the country’s largest casino complex and the only in the capital Phnom Penh.
On August 18, Tim McNally, chairman of NagaCorp, told GGRAsia that the firm had signed a cooperation deal with two junket operators from Macau and planned to fly some international customers – including Chinese gamblers – to its property starting this month.
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”Back in March, we decided that until there’s more clarity on what the business is going to look like, what the world is going to look like, and what the regulations really are over there, we’re pretty much ceasing our efforts [in Japan regarding pursuit of a casino project]”
Group chief executive of casino operator Wynn Resorts