Melco Crown plans Hong Kong listing; NagaCorp looking to Thailand

Crown casino

Crown casinoMacau’s third-largest casino firm is set to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange in the near future. A press release from Melco Crown Entertainment indicates that the firm is applying for the dual listing that could eventually raise around US$400 million 600m in new funding. That’s not the only reason for the listing. Poor old Laurence Ho and co felt a little bit left out.

Co-chairman and CEO Ho, visibly jealous, said, “It is worth noting that today all other casino operators in Macau, including those from the U.S., have their Macau operations listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.”

It’s not yet known when the listing will take place, the company not giving a clear time frame as to when they’d become the latest gambling company to take the public plunge.

Mr Ho did add, “A dual listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange will also allow local and Asian investors to directly access investment opportunities in our company, thus broadening our investor universe.”

Most of the Macau operators that are listed in New York saw their shares plummet last night as the global stocks crashed spectacularly. Melco Crown will hope this is never the case over in Hong Kong – you never know what’s going to happen in the world of the public traded gambling industry. Global stock crashes usually mean just that and there’s no way to escape.

The only operator licensed to operate a casino business in the Cambodian capital, NagaCorp, is seriously considering opening up a premises in the home of the lady-boy. According to an interview with Macau Business, the operator of NagaWorld would seriously consider moving into Thailand were the market to open up.

When questioned on expansion, NagaCorp chair Timothy McNally, replied, “We are always open to evaluate new opportunities in Indochina, including Thailand, if the situation presents itself. We are currently the best gaming and entertainment operator within Indochina and desire to continue as the best in our region.

“We bring a good deal of experience and business knowledge regarding the Indochina market, so, yes, we will assess opportunities presented based upon the potential for business development and favourable conditions to operate.”

Union Gaming analysts Bill Lerner, Grant Govertson and Dovydas Pelegrimas have already predicted that should casino legislation go through NagaCorp will be the winner of a Thai gaming license.