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Asia round-up: Moody's backs NagaCorp, Genting Malaysia results & more

NagaCorp’s performance is expected to improve soon, Moody’s says

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According to analysts at Moody’s Investor Services, NagaCorp’s performance is expected to improve in the following months, as pandemic restrictions ease.

The investor services firm suggested that NagaCorp’s B1 credit rating reflects the “dominant position” of its location in Cambodia, as well as proof of Nagaworld’s recovery in operating performance following the reopening of its casino in September 2021.

Analysts at Moody’s also noted that NagaWorld is “isolated to some extent from domestic conditions,” as it “generates most of its revenue from tourists and does not rely on local banks or capital markets for funding.”

Philip Lee, Executive Deputy Chairman at NagaCorp, commented: “Our business is quite unique in the industry. We are not that reliant on visitation from China as our market really comprises a very strong domestic market, and that comprises of foreign residents (living in Cambodia), and ex-pats.”

Genting Malaysia Q4 2021 results

Genting Malaysia has reported a net profit of MYR124m ($29.5m) for Q4 2021, showing an 81% year-on-year increase in group-wide revenue. Adjusted EBITDA saw a 33% growth to MYR738.1m for the quarter.

The quarterly report included a 49% revenue increase at Malaysia's Resort World Genting and almost double adjusted EBITDA after the IR was allowed to reopen on 30 September 2021.

The group explained the increase was thanks to the easing of Covid restrictions across the region.

For FY21, however, Genting Malaysia saw an 8% fall in revenue and a net loss of MYR1.15bn for 2021.

In terms of future prospects, the company stated: “Uncertainties surrounding Covid-19 developments will continue to pose headwinds to global travel. Nevertheless, higher vaccination rates worldwide and the introduction of vaccine passports in certain countries will support the recovery of the tourism, leisure and hospitality industries, including the regional gaming sector.

"Against this backdrop, the group remains cautiously optimistic on the near-term prospects of the leisure; and hospitality industry but is wary of the increased spread of Covid-19 variants.”

“Our business is quite unique in the industry. We are not that reliant on visitation from China as our market really comprises a very strong domestic market, and that comprises of foreign residents (living in Cambodia), and ex-pats”Philip Lee, Executive Deputy Chairman, NagaCorp

Former junket operator is now part-owner of IPI holdings

A former Imperial Pacific junket operator is now part-owner of IPI Holdings, the casino’s parent company.

Sources say IPI holdings had received a notice from one of its part-owners who decided to transfer convertible notes in the amount of $24m to Dong Jiming.

Jiming owns High Tides, one of the five junkets issued a junket operator licence by the Commonwealth Casino commission in 2019; but which was suspended in April 2021 after Governor Ralph Torres expressed concerns regarding the present junket program.

The Commonwealth Casino Commission has the right to object to any new owner of IPI if they are not considered suitable.

But, so far, according to the Commission’s Executive Director, Andre Yeom, it “has not found any detrimental issue with Mr Dong Jiming at this time, and we will report to you if we find any issue with him in the future. For now, this transaction is good to go unless we find otherwise.”

Gaming in Macau affected by high Omicron numbers

The Hong Kong outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is expected to “get worse before it gets better,” according to analysts, which is why the reopening of the Greater Bay Area to quarantine-free travel might be delayed.

The delay will have a direct impact on gaming recovery in Macau.

Bernstein analyst Vitaly Umansky has cited a recent study that projects a huge increase in the number of cases per day; up to 180,000 daily infections by mid-March, compared to less than 10,000 per day in present.

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