Forbes lifts NagaCorp boss to billionaire

According to a Forbes report, Chen Lip Keong has become a billionaire for the first time, on the back of the stellar performance of NagaCorp (3918:HK), the Hong Kong-listed company that owns and operates NagaWorld, Cambodia’s biggest casino. Since Chen debuted on Forbes’ list of ‘Malaysia’s Richest’ in 2009 with a net worth of USD $195 million, the share price of NagaCorp has gone up by more than 500 percent, making it one of the Exchange’s best performers for the period. Chen Lip Keong, who trained as a medical doctor before turning to property development and gaming, founded NagaCorp in 1995, the same year he obtained 70-year gaming license in Cambodia and a shorter monopoly on casinos within a 200 kilometer radius of Phnom Penh. He listed the company in Hong Kong in 2006 after Singapore rejected the listing request, and the stock price has been climbing ever since. Between this year and last, the share price doubled, partly on news that NagaCorp was expanding. In November the company broke ground on Naga2, which they say will be completed in 2015. Chen also controls Karambunai, a Malaysian-listed property developer and tourism company. Before NagaCorp, he headed an aerospace company owned by the Malaysian government, Forbes reported.