For the past weeks, Genting Malaysia Bhd shares were shifting like a rollercoaster ride. When the entertainment hub company announced in late November that they had filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney Co and 21st Century Fox Inc, The Star reported that their shares plummeted 16.7% (or 60 sen), wiping out RM3.4bil from their market capitalisation.
However, their shares are slowly recovering from the drop after chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay announced last Saturday (Dec 15) that the theme park remains part of their plans and efforts to open it are “all in place”, The Edge reported based on Singapore’s The Business Times coverage.
Lim said the theme park is “only a small part” of their Resorts World Genting Complex’s expansion plan, adding that revenue and visitor numbers have been growing as predicted. Genting Malaysia initially aimed to open the theme park in January 2019 but Lim is confident that it would be open early next year despite the “latest twist caught us by surprise”.
After the reports of Lim’s statement got out, the casino operator’s shares have taken a climb since the market opened on Monday. The current share price is RM3.06 from the previously lowest RM2.79, an up by 27 sen.
Genting Malaysia sued Disney and Fox because the latter two pulled out of an agreement to sponsor a Fox World theme park, claiming that they do not want to be associated with Genting’s gambling business to protect their “family-friendly” image. Genting Malaysia is looking for more than US$1 billion (RM4.18b) in damages from the Hollywood giant. Fox is currently being acquired by Disney for US$71.3 billion.
Genting Malaysia embarked on a 10-year masterplan back in 2013 to reinvigorate and introduce new experiences to visitors. The new facilities and attractions include First World Hotel Tower 3, the new Awana SkyWay cable car system, the newly refurbished Theme Park Hotel, the new Crockfords Hotel, the new SkyAvenue entertainment complex − which also includes Zouk Genting − as well as Genting Highlands Premium Outlet that opened last year.
We put our trust in you, uncle Lim! We can’t wait for it to be opened early next year regardless of whether it would be a Universal or Six Flags-themed amusement park as rumoured.
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