NagaCorp, the operator of NagaWorld casino resort in Cambodia, announced in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange that a planned share award program would be further delayed.
Share Award Scheme Further Delayed
NagaCorp stated in the Friday filing that, due to the prolonged global market disruption caused by the recent developments related to the coronavirus and the business uncertainty it brought, would be again deferring the grants of the Award Shares to the Connected Participants and the Non-Connected Participants.
Under the Share Award Scheme that was introduced in January, NagaCorp proposed to pay up to 10,226,667 award shares to the Connected Participants – the directors of the company – and up to 9,000,000 award shares to the Non-Connected Participants no later than June 30, 2021.
Connected Participants included NagaCorp chairman Tim McNally with 6,000,000 shares, group’s founder and chief executive officer Chen Lip Keong with nearly 1,170,000, and executive deputy chairman and director Philip Lee Wai Tuck with 3,000,000 shares.
Five days before the deadline, on June 25, NagaCorp announced its directors had decided to postpone the grants of the share award program. Having taken into account the negative impact on the business from the voluntary closure of Naga World, the Board of Directors pushed the deadline to December 31, 2021. The casino resort in the capital of Cambodia Phnom Penh was shut down from early March until September 15, forcing the company to undertake a series of cost-saving measures including layoffs and pay cuts.
Exact Timing Unknown
Further extending the grants deadline into the financial 2022 or 2023, NagaCorp said its Board of Directors would determine the exact timing, taking into account the overall performance of the group at that time, while the company will issue a press release to inform that the grants have been awarded.
In December, employees at Naga World went on a strike after their efforts to engage with NagaCorp management in genuine or good faith negotiations failed. Workers, most of who members of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld (LRSU) demanded the reinstatement of 365 employees that were previously dismissed as part of the mass layoff in late April 2021.
NagaCorp resolved the situation by obtaining a court order to declare the strike illegal and use the combined forces of the Phnom Penh City Hall, the police, the Phnom Penh Court, and the Cambodian Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training to disperse the gathered crowd in front of Naga World.