Malaysian billionaire tycoon and the founder of the gaming empire NagaCorp, Dr. Chen Lip Keong, died at age 76. The man behind Cambodia’s NagaWorld integrated resort complex spent the past three decades building his portfolio from the ground up.
NagaCorp founder Chen Lip Keong stands behind a baccarat table at NagaWorld. He died on Friday in the U.S. (Image: Forbes)
NagaCorp’s board of directors confirmed the passing in a Monday filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE). The report states that Chen died on December 8. Chen reportedly died while in the U.S., according to reports from the Chinese newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau.
The exact cause of Chen’s death is not listed. Chen’s body is reportedly still in the U.S., awaiting specific procedures before returning to Malaysia. It’s likely clearance will be given in the next few days.
Chen was reportedly the seventh-richest man in Malaysia.
Chen suffered a stroke over a decade ago.
Chen’s Son to Take Over
The board’s report also disclosed that Chen’s son, Chen Yiy Fon, will take over the business. He was previously the CEO of Operations at NagaCorp and will now be the head of the group of companies his father built, effective December 10.
Yiy Fon has served as the CEO of Operations since April 5, 2022. At the time, the late NagaCorp founder divided control of the company among his three sons. Yiy Fon became CEO of Operations, Chen Cherchi became CEO – Finance and Treasury, and Chen Yiy Hwuan took the title of CEO – Hotels.
NagaCorp affirmed its commitment to sustaining business operations aligned with the board’s strategies. It didn’t provide details on whether Chen’s passing will alter the course of the long-running workers’ strike at NagaWorld.
NagaCorp has a license to operate NagaWorld that includes a 51-year monopoly covering an area of 120 miles around Phnom Penh. The license is valid until 2065, and the monopoly is active until 2045.
NagaCorp Stock Decline
Investors responded negatively to the news of Chen’s death. Trading on the HKSE’s equities market, NagaCorp had been experiencing declines since the beginning of the year.
The stock has lost 15% in the past five days and 56.58% since the beginning of the year. As of this writing, it’s down to HK$2.96 (US$0.36).
Since the middle of November, the stock began to experience some recovery. It rebounded to HK$3.92 (US$0.50) on November 23 before falling back into the downward trend. Its highest price was on January 27, when it reached HK$7.678 (US$0.98). Since then, it has steadily dropped and hit its lowest point of the year, HK$3.29 (US$0.42) on November 1.
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