Genting S’pore stake buy puzzles investors

Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - Genting Singapore plc's surprise US$60mil purchase of a company with a portfolio of interests in natural resource operations failed to spark any reaction from investors.

Genting Singapore, a 51.7% subsidiary of Genting Bhd, said on Tuesday that it had entered into an agreement for the acquisition of a 69% stake in Goldnature Investments Ltd, a firm incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

Goldnature has a 51% interest in Montbella Ltd which has interests in natural resource ventures.

According to a Genting Singapore statement, Goldnature has a net asset value of US$16mil.

Analysts covering the Genting group were generally puzzled by the acquisition, saying that it was not in line with the group's core business of gaming.

“Then again, Genting wouldn't pay for something that doesn't make sense. But it's not good to keep the market guessing," a TA Research analyst said.

Genting Singapore did not elaborate on the rationale of the purchase.

At net asset value of US$16mil, Genting Singapore would be paying about five times book value for the stake, prompting analysts to say it was an expensive deal.

Genting Singapore is the company behind the development of Resorts World, one of the two integrated resorts in Singapore.

In a separate development, Resorts World was fined S$530,000 by the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore recently for breaches of the Casino Control Act and its rules.

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