NagaCorp Ltd chief executive Chen Lip Keong has paid more than HKD39.6 million (USD5.05 million) to increase his stake in the Cambodian casino operator to 65.84 percent, or about 0.1 percent of the issued share capital.
NagaCorp is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The firm said Mr Chen informed the company he had increased his holding by 5.4 million shares on Tuesday, buying them on the open market at an average price of about HKD7.33 each. The purchase means Mr Chen now owns about 2.86 billion shares in NagaCorp.
NagaCorp has a licensed monopoly of casinos in and around Phnom Penh, and is developing a casino resort in Primorksy Krai, near the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok. In April, the Russian regulator said work was underway to create the first phase of development that will include a 279-room hotel, casino and a conference hall.
NagaCorp has also announced plans to extend its reach as a regional player in the gaming industry. At the opening of Naga 2, a 900-hotel-room extension in Phnom Penh last November that forms the NagaWorld Complex (pictured), Mr Chen delivered his strategy for the company, including excursions into Japan.
“My vision is of Naga [the brand] as a dragon… it curves around China… and the northeastern part of Russia, and the north of Mongolia,” Mr Chen said at the time, adding he had spoken to the government of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost province, about launching a casino there.
Last month, brokerage Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd said about half of a US$290-million bond issuance completed in mid-May by NagaCorp would be used to refurbish its original Cambodia flagship property NagaWorld, commonly known as Naga 1.
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”We’ve been in Japan and in many other places, and while we have to be mindful of our investments ... we have the type of profile now and relationships with financial institutions where we are in a position to take a look at fresh opportunities”
Chairman of Hong Kong-listed casino investor NagaCorp