Brave new NagaWorld

Phnom Penh’s monopoly casino resort has lost its founder and much of its mainland Chinese customer base, writes Muhammad Cohen.

After a quarter century of virtually uninterrupted success, Naga Corporation faces two unprecedented challenges. For the operator of NagaWorld, the monopoly integrated resort in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, one situation is far more easily addressed than the other.

In the post-Covid climate of decreased mainland Chinese international travel and the Middle Kingdom’s diminished appetite for overseas investment amid domestic economic woes, NagaWorld’s 2023 gross gaming revenue of US$514.8m was down 70% from US$1.7bn in 2019.

Its net profit fell 71% to US$52.3m, and EBITDA was off 56% to $295.3m. Naga shares traded in Hong Kong have fallen from an all-time high of HK$14.28 (US$1.83) in October 2019 to below HK$4 now.

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