NagaCorp Chairman Tim McNally says the company is planning to begin construction of its Naga3 development in late September or early October.
The Hong Kong-listed firm released latest details of its planned US$3.5 billion expansion of Cambodia integrated resort NagaWorld earlier this week, which it says will set a standard to rival the best IRs in Macau.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, McNally also provided an update on the timeline to begin construction with late September set as the preferred date pending final approval at an upcoming Extraordinary General Meeting.
“We have an EGM on 8 August to brief and get the concurrence of our minority shareholders … from there we’re hoping to commence construction at the end of September, early October,” he said.
The Naga3 development is certain to be approved given that major shareholder Dr Chen Lip Keong holds a majority 66.10% stake. Dr Chen is also contributing 50% of funding to the project, which will add an extra 4,730 hotel rooms to NagaWorld.
McNally said the proposed funding model, with the other 50% to be contributed by NagaCorp itself, was considered the best option to serve all stakeholders.
“We feel that’s the best without diminishing either the interests of our minority shareholders so we can continue our dividend practices and policies and also minimize our risk,” he said. “The controlling shareholder has that great a confidence where he is going to put up 50% of the money. This is 50% investment by the company without reducing our 100% ownership rights.”
Asked about the need for so many new hotel rooms, McNally said, “The Ministry of Tourism recently projected that Cambodia really 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 maximize that license. We have a lot of confidence.”