CHAIRMAN AND CEO
CHAIRMAN AND CEO
CHAIRMAN AND CEO
Genting Hong Kong
Travellers International Hotel Group
POWER SCORE: 3,626
POSITION LAST YEAR: 4
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Heads largest Asian casino group absent from Macau
• Enlarging Asian resorts, expanding cruise business and extending North American footprint
• Succeeded his father, founder Lim Goh Tong, and now grooming son Lim Keong Hui to follow
GENTING Group operates gaming in more Asian jurisdictions than anyone, especially if you count its cruise fleet destinations. Genting’s five listed companies, excluding Genting Plantations, traded on three exchanges and chaired by Lim Kok Thay, project to produce leisure and hospitality revenue approaching US$7 billion this year with EBITDA in excess of US$2 billion, growing 4%. While actively seeking a Japan integrated resort license, Genting is focused on expanding its current Asian properties and branching out in North America.
Lim became a Genting director upon turning 25 in 1976 and took over from his late father Lim Goh Tong as group chairman in 2003. This chairman’s son, Lim Keong Hui, became Deputy Chief Executive of the group’s holding company, Malaysia listed Genting Berhad, and other listed entities this year. In July, Lim reportedly settled the gossip fodder inheritance lawsuit with the children of elder brother Lim Tee Keong including ousted Donaco co-founder Joey Lim.
Genting’s organization chart is more complex than the family tree. Genting Berhad holds US$4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas, due for completion late next year, and controlling shares in both Resorts World Sentosa owner Genting Singapore and Genting Malaysia, operator of the original highlands resort, now known as RW Genting, an hour’s drive outside Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. Genting Berhad also holds other pieces of the global portfolio that includes 41 UK properties – after selling Maxim in London this year for US$44 million – RW Bimini in the Bahamas, slot parlor RW New York and, recently, 49% of RW Catskills, a loss making casino resort 150 kilometers (90 miles) from New York City that’s majority owned by Lim family vehicle Kien Huat Realty III.
RW Genting is completing a US$2.3 billion capital reinvestment program, and Genting Singapore has committed to a SG$4.5 billion (US$3.3 billion) expansion at RW Sentosa. Considering those obligations, RW Las Vegas and projected Catskill cash calls, Fitch Ratings downgraded Genting Berhad’s credit outlook to negative from stable, projecting capital expenditures of US$5.5 billion through next year and sluggish growth.
Separated from Genting Berhad in 2015, Genting Hong Kong faces capital demands for cruise fleet expansion and its share of joint venture RW Manila’s new billion dollar IR. Dream Cruises, launched in 2015 to appeal to Chinese customers between luxury brand Crystal Cruises and “contemporary” Star Cruises, has two US$1 billion-plus vessels under construction. Genting HK recently sold 35% of Dream Cruises for US$470 million and completed a lease-back deal on three-year-old liner Genting Dream that realized around US$800 million.
As a counterpoint to Fitch’s downgrade, Genting Singapore filed a JPY350 billion (US$3.3 billion) shelf registration for a bond offering in Japan. RW Sentosa is often cited with Singapore rival Marina Bay Sands as precisely what Japan wants from an IR, right down to the entry tax for local residents. But the property that most intrigues Japan could be RW Genting. Malaysian Muslims are banned from the casino floor, compelling management to develop non-gaming attractions to tap most local wallets and look overseas for gaming growth. That’s a formula Japan would love to copy.
For the full list of 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.