NagaCorp stock award plan via initial 19mln shares

NagaCorp stock award plan via initial 19mln shares

Casino investor NagaCorp Ltd says the firm’s board has adopted a share award scheme, valid for 10 years, according to a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company is also proposing an initial grant of nearly 19.23 million shares in aggregate, including to the firm’s directors.

The company runs the NagaWorld casino complex (pictured in a file photo) in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. It has an exclusive licence to operate casinos there and in the city’s surroundings. The firm also plans to develop a US$350-million non-gaming resort near the UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat, in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Based on the closing price of NagaCorp’s shares on January 28, the total market value of the proposed initial grants is HKD171.12 million (US$22.1 million), according to the firm’s filing.

Nearly 10.23 million shares would go to NagaCorp’s directors, and 9.0 million shares to the group’s employees. The initial grant to the firm’s directors has to be approved by the company’s independent shareholders.

In its filing, NagaCorp said it had adopted the share award scheme with effect from January 28, to “continue to attract skilled and experienced personnel, to incentivise them to remain with the group, and/or to recognise their contribution to the group… by providing them with the opportunity to obtain equity interests in the company”.

The scheme is open to those directors, directors of subsidiaries and group employees “who the board considers, in its absolute discretion, have contributed or will contribute to the group”.

The initial grant includes: 6.0 million shares to Tim McNally, chairman of NagaCorp; nearly 1.17 million shares to Chen Lip Keong, the group’s founder and chief executive; and 3.0 million shares to Philip Lee Wai Tuck, the firm’s executive deputy chairman and director.

Up to 5 percent of the total number of shares in issue as of January 28 – i.e., up to a total of 217,050,402 shares – may be granted during the lifetime of the scheme, stated NagaCorp.

In a voluntary October update on the August and September performance of its Phnom Penh operation, NagaCorp said that what it termed average daily “business volumes” at its mass-market gaming segment in the August-September period had recovered to 97 percent of the average seen in the first quarter of 2020; i.e., the period before the closure of the casino in April until July 8, as a Covid-19 countermeasure.

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