Chow Tai Fook Enterprises
POWER SCORE: 797
POSITION LAST YEAR: 32
CLAIMS TO FAME
• CTFE majority owns Vietnam’s Hoiana integrated resort, partnered with Suncity Group and VinaCapital
• Holds 4.99% of Australia’s Star Entertainment Group as a strategic partner
• Owns 10% of SJM Holdings parent STDM
• Obtained Baha Mar, largest resort in the Caribbean, from Chinese state creditors
Henry Cheng resigned as a director of SJM Holdings in June, but that hardly means he’s leaving gaming. Cheng family investment vehicle Chow Tai Fook Enterprises owns pieces of casino projects on three continents, building on the legacy of late patriarch Cheng Yu-tung, who bought out an unwanted 10% partner in Stanley Ho’s STDM in 1982.
In 2015, a year before his father’s death, Henry Cheng steered CTFE to take a majority stake – once held by Genting – in the central Vietnam integrated resort now known as Hoiana, opening by early 2020. CFTE partnered in Star Entertainment Group’s winning proposal for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane. The relationship with Star blossomed, with CTFE participating in expansion of the Australian operator’s Gold Coast resort and then taking a 4.99% strategic stake in Star.
When China’s Import-Export Bank faced embarrassing delays and bankruptcy on US$3.5 billion Baha Mar in the Bahamas, CTFE took over the project and got the IR open.
Cheng and family bring more than their billions to gaming. Their Chow Tai Fook jewelry chain and New World department stores have valuable customer databases. But the biggest prize may be New World’s ultra luxurious Rosewood hotel brand. Rosewood Baha Mar is open, with Hoiana and Queen’s Wharf editions under development.
For the full list of 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.