Vietnam-focused asset management firm VinaCapital is prepared to begin construction of its $4 billion integrated resort and casino project in South Hoi An after delays brought by the Genting Group’s decision to drop out as a project investor
The company finalizes negotiations with a new, yet-to-be-named foreign investor. “It is still confidential and the partnership agreement has not yet been signed,” VinaCapital CEO Don Lam said, when asked about the identity of the new investor.
The Vietnam Investment Review reports that the new partner could be Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd., which has a lot of experience developing hotels and casinos, replacing American company Peninsula Pacific, which was revealed earlier this year as a joint investor in the project replacing Genting.
Lam indicated that construction of the development is expected to begin by mid-2015, allowing VinaCapital to commence with its own construction unobstructed, allowing it to open the resort sometime in late 2016 or early 2017. “We are determined to develop it because this is a very big tourism project,” Lam added, referring to other inland infrastructure projects supporting the company’s South Hoi An integrated casino and resort development.
This development is great news for VinaCapital, which saw the project hit a major snag in 2012 when Genting Malaysia Berhard inexplicably dropped out as a partner, forcing the company to scramble and find a new foreign investor to inject money in the development.
VinaCapital proposed that the local authorities reduce the size of the project from 1,538 hectares to a more manageable 1,000 hectares. The developer also seek permission to extend the project’s lifetime to 50 years and add an additional 20 gaming tables, bringing to a total of 90 for the first phase of the project, to match what the Ho Tram Strip casino has in its establishment.
Meanwhile, Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp has announced that Mark Anthony Brown, the chief operating officer of wholly-owned subsidiary NagaWorld, has rendered his resignation effective immediately.
Brown resigned from the company to “pursue other opportunities” after steering NagaWorld to become a big player in Macau’s gaming market. Brown will be replaced by Lien Trung Phat, MD Business Development and Mike Ngai, MD Business Development (South East Asia). Both Lien and Ngai boast extensive records of accomplishment within the casino industry.
Lien Trung Phat has particular expertise in casino marketing, VIP gaming promotion, junket relations and player development and worked with The Venetian Macau, Trump Resorts, The Resorts World Sentosa and other US-based casinos.
On the other hand, Mr Ngai is an accountant who worked for The Venetian Macau and certain US-based casinos since 1999. A diversified professional experienced in financial planning and business analysis towards solving marketing initiatives and objectives.