Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp Ltd announced plans to initiate an on-market share buy-back programme.
The board of directors on Wednesday took the decision “in principle” to utilise NagaCorp’s current share repurchase mandate approved at the company’s last annual general meeting, in April.
Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp said in a filing that the firm’s directors “take the view that use of the repurchase mandate in present conditions demonstrates the company’s confidence in its own business outlook and prospects and would, ultimately, benefit the company and create value to its shareholders”.
The board has set no specific limitations on the size, timing or price of repurchases. The filing pointed out there is no assurance the company will make any repurchases at all.
The document however mentioned that NagaCorp has no intention of buying back shares to the extent of obliging controlling shareholder Chen Lip Keong – NagaCorp’s chief executive – to make a mandatory offer for the company’s entire capital.
Mr Chen, who indirectly holds 41.7 percent of the firm, would be oblige to do so if his voting rights increased by more than 2 percent in any 12-month period, NagaCorp said in the filing.
The share buy-back mandate is valid until the company’s 2015 annual general meeting.
NagaCorp operates NagaWorld (pictured), arguably Cambodia’s most well-known casino resort. The foreigners-only property is the only legal casino within a 200-kilometre (124-mile) radius of the Southeast Asian country’s capital Phnom Penh.
NagaWorld has been benefiting from a new incentive VIP programme launched last year. The property has been repositioning itself as an attractive niche product for junket operators looking for more attractive deals with casino operators compared to Macau.
NagaCorp also plans to open a US$370-million casino resort near Vladivostok in the Russian Far East. Company chairman Tim McNally told GGRAsia last month that NagaCorp is considering a public offering to help fund the project.
Trading in NagaCorp’s shares in Hong Kong, which was halted on Thursday prior to the announcement of the share buy-back plan, was resumed on Friday morning.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China