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Naga3 project to commence construction next month

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A view of the 9,080sqm plot of land purchased by NagaCorp Ltd on Sothearos Boulevard, as seen in May. Heng Chivoan

Naga3 project to commence construction next month

The Naga3 development project that’s on the site of the former “White Building” in Chamkarmon district’s Tonle Bassac commune in Phnom Penh, is set to commence construction in late September or early October.

NagaCorp Ltd Chairman Timothy Patrick McNally said on July 24 that late September had been earmarked as the preferred date to begin construction, pending an extraordinary general meeting.

“We have an EGM on August 8 to brief and get the concurrence of our minority shareholders . . . From there we’re hoping to commence construction at the end of September or early October,” McNally told Bloomberg TV at the time, as quoted by the Inside Asian Gaming (IAG) website.

According to GGRAsia, NagaCorp told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on August 9 that the EGM of its shareholders the day before had voted in favour of its financing plan.

The Hong Kong-listed firm is planning an expansion of its integrated resort (IR) NagaWorld, which it says will set a standard to rival the best IRs in Macau.

In April, GGRAsia said, the company announced that its founder, NagaCorp chief executive Chen Lip Keong, would pay half of the $3.5 billion price for the project, excluding the cost of the land.

McNally said the proposed funding model, with the other 50 per cent to be contributed by NagaCorp itself, was considered the best option to serve all stakeholders.

“We feel that’s the best without diminishing the interests of our minority shareholders, so we can continue our dividend practices and policies and also minimise our risk.

“The controlling shareholder has such great confidence that he is going to put up 50 per cent of the money.

“This is 50 per cent investment by the company without reducing our 100 per cent ownership rights,” he told Bloomberg TV.

NagaCorp was in April granted an approval in principle by the government to build five blocks of buildings at a maximum height of 66

storeys on a total land of 16,837sqm, including 4,730 hotel rooms and multiple gaming and entertainment facilities.

Asked about the need for so many new hotel rooms, McNally said, “The Ministry of Tourism recently projected that Cambodia needs another 100,000 additional hotel suites just to keep up with the tourism growth and demand, so our contribution will be significant.

“We have a monopoly license until 2035 and we want to maximise that license. We have a lot of confidence.”

Mey Vann, the General Department of Financial Industry director-general under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, told The Post on Sunday: “The Kingdom gave a license to Naga3 to begin construction.

“The operation license will be granted when construction is complete so they can begin operating.

NagaWorld posted a 22 per cent increase in gross gaming revenue to $872.4 million during the first six months of this year, with a 36 per cent increase in net profit to $245.1 million for the period, according to a company press release.