A brokerage is lifting a 10-percent discount it had ascribed to the target price of shares in casino operator Genting Malaysia Bhd.
Maybank Investment Bank Bhd said the move was on the basis that the outdoor theme park at the casino firm’s Resorts World Genting complex outside Kuala Lumpur “could be opening… a lot earlier than we expected”.
That could possibly mean a first-quarter 2020 launch, on the basis that the casino group had recently been recruiting for its theme park division, and had previously mentioned a lead time of six to nine months between hiring staff and opening the facility.
Maybank had forecast a first-quarter 2021 launch for the outdoor theme park.
“Our revised target price is MYR3.80 [US$0.90] (MYR3.40 previously),” stated the Wednesday memo from Maybank IB Research analyst Samuel Yin Shao Yang.
It added: “Over the last two weeks, Resorts World Genting took out full-page job advertisements for its theme park division in local newspapers.”
Maybank’s note stated, referring to several non-gaming facilities at the complex: “While we understand that this division oversees both Skytropolis indoor theme park and the outdoor theme park, Skytropolis has been open since December 2018.”
Mr Yin further stated, referring to the fact the outdoor theme park had originally been due to carry Fox branding; prior to the takeover of assets of that Hollywood entertainment brand by Walt Disney Co: “This suggests to us that the outdoor theme park, currently the subject of a US$1 billion lawsuit between Genting Malaysia and Fox/Disney, could be ready to open soon. We understand that construction of the outdoor theme park was approximately 95 percent completed as at July 2019.”
Nonetheless the institution said it was keeping in place its previous earnings estimates in relation to Resorts World Genting, which had assumed that in full-year 2021 the outdoor theme park would attract 2.5 million visitors at an average ticket price of MYR100.
“At this point, we are unsure if Genting Malaysia will reconcile with Fox/Disney, partner other studios, share royalties with them or even operate the outdoor theme park on its own,” wrote Mr Yin.
In other developments, Malaysian media reported that several members of the Genting brand’s founding Lim family – including two people recently removed from the board of Australia-listed Asian casino operator Donaco International Ltd – are seeking to end a legal fight with parties including Lim Kok Thay, the head of Genting Bhd.
The Edge, a financial news outlet, cited papers filed in Malaysia’s High Court on July 1. The deal was said to involve on one side three grandchildren of the late Genting group patriarch Lim Goh Tong – namely former Donaco executives Joey Lim Keong Yew and Benjamin Lim Keong Hoe, as well as Marie Lim Seok Leng – and on the other, Lim Kok Thay, chairman and chief executive of Genting Bhd, as well as Lim Chee Wah and other parties.
The family feud had many elements, according to the Edge, including a claim by Mr Joey Lim and Mr Benjamin Lim that they had been excluded from being beneficiaries of the will of their father, Lim Tee Keong, who died in 2014.
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