International edition
June 25, 2021

VinaCapital announces new partner to replace Genting

Progress on Vietnam’s integrated resort project

(Vietnam).- VinaCapital has announced it has found a partner to replace Genting for the planned development of South Hoi An, an integrated resort with gambling in the central Vietnam province of Quang Nam. A report in the country’s English-language Vietnam Investment Review cited an official with the Chu Lai Economic Zone Management Authority, who declined to specify the partner but said it is a “famous global player in the casino industry”.

It has good financial capacity and strong management experience which makes it perfectly suited to run an integrated resort complex,” the official said, adding that Quang Nam authorities recently visited one of the operator’s existing casinos.

VinaCapital, an asset management firm focused on Vietnam, says the project, known as South Hoi An, will include five-star hotels and luxury residences and will be the largest tourist destination in Quang Nam, which is already home to several resorts on the South China Sea coast.

 VinaCapital previously held an 80 percent stake in the project with Genting Malaysia, a publicly traded subsidiary of Malaysian resort conglomerate Genting Group. Genting withdrew in September 2012 and South Hoi An had been in limbo since. Last June, Vina requested a delay in completing the project and downsized the land allocation to 1,000 hectares.

 The firm also said it is turning over its controlling stake to the unnamed partner. “This will be an important change ensuring the successful development of the project,” said the Chu Lai official, who added that the request for approval from the central government will be amended accordingly.

 Vietnam is home to some six casinos, most of them catering to the Chinese border trade in the north of the country. The largest, the US$500 million Grand – Ho Tram on the coast about 70 miles from Ho Chi Minh City, opened last July but has struggled in the absence of local play, which is prohibited by law. Hanoi, however, is reported to be keen on attracting tourism-related foreign investment as an economic development tool and recognizes the importance of casinos in making that viable.

 Several global industry names in addition to Genting have expressed interest in the country, among them Las Vegas Sands and Casinos Austria International, if the ban were removed, and there appears to be powerful political support for doing so.

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