Genting Group Chairman and CEO, Lim Kok Thay, is reported to have received MYR148.73 million (US$36 million) in dividend payments in 4Q20, ranking him sixth among Malaysia’s richest individuals despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on his global casino operations.
According to a report by The Edge Markets, eight of the nation’s 10 richest people, based on Forbes’ 2020 billionaires list, were paid out a combined MYR1.99 billion (US$481 million) in the fourth quarter, led by Public Bank Bhd founder Dr Teh Hong Piow with MYR668.2 million (US$161.4 million).
Lim ranked sixth with the majority of his dividend payments coming from the MYR146.54 million (US$35 million) Genting Berhad paid to his private investment firm, Kien Huat Realty Sdn Bh, plus dividends declared by Genting Malaysia and Genting Plantations. Genting Malaysia declared a dividend payout of 8.5 sen (MYR0.08) per share in 4Q20, despite recording a net loss of MYR258.2 million (US$62 million).
News of Lim’s substantial earnings in 4Q20 come after Genting Berhad’s Singapore subsidiary, Genting Singapore, was last month asked to issue a “please explain” by the Singapore Exchange over its Chairman’s 2020 remuneration, which the company’s Annual Report showed had doubled compared to 2019 remuneration to between SG$21.25 million to SG$21.50 million (US$15.8 million to US$16.0 million).
Genting Singapore explained that over 80% of Lim’s 2020 remuneration was an accounting accrual of a portion of a potential SG$35 million bonus which will be paid to Lim under a “Chairman’s Japan Project Incentive Award” should Genting Singapore win an integrated resort license in Japan. None of that bonus has been paid, Genting Singapore said. Genting Singapore continues to pursue its IR bid in Japan.