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Vietnam – Chow Tai Fook becomes biggest stakeholder in Hoi An project

By - 8 September 2015

VinaCapital’s stalled US$4bn casino project near the popular tourist town Hoi An in Vietnam has received a huge boost with the news that Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises has become the main investor.

VinaCapital’s share in the project has been reduced from 80 per cent to 22.55 per cent to become ‘a strategic shareholder,’ clearing the way for the project to be completed.

Chow Tai Fook is run by Hong Kong’s fourth richest person Cheng Yu Tung, who bought 70 per cent of Macau junket operator Sun City last year.

The first phase of the development will include a hotel, casino, and golf course with the aim of opening around the start of 2019.

David Blackhall, VinaCapital’s Managing Director, said: “Vinaland had completed initial investments into the project, however continuing with such a large scale, long term development would require significant future capital commitments, which does not fit with VinaLand’s current cash return strategy. This transaction is the eleventh full disposal since VinaLand’s extraordinary general meeting on 21 November 2012. We believe this is a very positive outcome for our shareholders given VinaLand’s current mandate and will allow for additional capital to be distributed as a result.”

Genting Bhd’s Genting Malaysia Berhard was originally involved in the project but pulled out in 2012 due to the fact that locals can’t gamble in Vietnam. Vietnam’s casinos, including The Grand on the Ho Tram Strip, have benefitted from the slowdown in Macau with more Chinese players opting for Vietnam.
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, a subsidiary of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, has already confirmed it wants to invest US$2.6bn to construct a casino resort near South Korea’s largest airport. Whilst in June last year it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australian casino operator Echo Entertainment and Far East Consortium to develop an entertainment precinct and integrated resort at the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane site.

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