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Fiona Simmons December 11, 2023 2 min read
Chen Lip Keong Passes Away, NagaCorp Stock Plummets
His son, Chen Yiy Fon, will take over the company, NagaCorp announced
Chen Lip Keong, one of the richest men in Malaysia, has passed away at 76. His death occurred on December 8 and was announced by the NagaCorp board in a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Chen, who developed the NagaCorp casino and hospitality brand, suffered a stroke a decade ago, sparking speculations that his death might be related to this. However, the leisure corporation’s board provided no specifics about his passing.
Later reports by Chinese news outlets claim that Chen passed away while in the US. His remains will likely be returned to Malaysia after a formal clearance process.
Chen spent the last few years of his life developing NagaCorp, cementing it as a major casino and hospitality brand in Asia. The news of his passing caused the company’s stock to plummet, although the leadership is certain that the loss of Chen will not lead to long-term material impact on the group’s finances.
As of the time of this writing, NagaCorp’s shares are trading for HKD 2.96, representing a significant decline from January 2023, when they had reached HKD 7.75.
What’s Next for NagaCorp?
In the meantime, Chen Yiy Fon, one of Chen Lip Keong’s sons, has succeeded him as head of the company starting December 10. Chen Yiy Fon already boasts significant corporate experience and has previously served as NagaCorp’s chief executive officer of operations.
Chen Yiy Fon started work as the casino and hospitality company’s CEO of Operations on April 5, 2022. His appointment came amid efforts to divide responsibilities for the company among Chen Lip Keong’s three sons.
For reference, this move saw Chen Yiy Hwuan named as chief executive officer of hotels and Chen Cherchi as chief executive officer of finance and treasury.
In its filing, NagaCorp did not disclose whether the change of leadership will have an effect on the ongoing strike at NagaWorld, one of the company’s biggest properties. Located near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the huge resort is one of the highlights of NagaCorp’s portfolio. However, the property is currently dealing with a strike following the ousting of NagaWorld’s previous leadership.