Chen Lip Keong, the Malaysian founder of casino operator NagaCorp Ltd, outranks fellow countryman Lim Kok Thay, the head of gaming conglomerate Genting group, on the latest “Malaysia’s 50 Richest” list compiled by Forbes, published on Wednesday.
But both men saw their wealth down by double digits of percent in the past 12 months: Mr Chen’s by 41.3 percent and Mr Lim’s by 13.0 percent.
Mr Chen (pictured in a file photo), founder and chief executive of the firm that runs the NagaWorld casino monopoly in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, is seventh on the list, with an estimated wealth of US$2.7 billion, down from US$4.6 billion a year ago.
Mr Lim, current business head of the founding family at Genting, is ninth on the Forbes list, with US$2.35 billion, versus US$2.7 billion a year earlier.
Within the current calendar year, the latter group has seen its Genting Hong Kong Ltd casino cruise ship business enter liquidation and suspend operations, coinciding with major disruption to its business model amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the group’s land-based casinos, including its flagship Malaysia operation, Resorts World Genting, and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, have also seen business affected by Covid-19 countermeasures in the past 12 months, with knock-on influence regarding the share prices of the listed Genting units running them.
Mr Lim also has an interest in United States-based casino operator Empire Resorts Inc, the parent company of loss-making venue Resorts World Catskills, in New York state.
Mr Chen’s Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp also saw significant disruption to its casino business in the past 12 months.
Nonetheless, the latter firm posted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$60.5 million for the first three months of 2022, up 83.3 percent on the previous quarter.
NagaCorp announced in March that it had suspended indefinitely the development of a casino resort near Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East.
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