Genting’s biggest ‚Dream‘ dashed by fight with German government

Shares of Malaysian gambling tycoon’s Hong Kong unit crash 50%

For Nikkei Asia

JENS KASTNER, Contributing writer January 12, 2022 19:11

HAMBURG, Germany — The 342-meter Global Dream was to inaugurate a new „mega“ era for Asian cruising with debut sailings from China last year as the world’s highest capacity liner.

But that plan was made before COVID. Now the $1.8 billion ship sits three-quarters built at a shipyard in Wismar, Germany with no clear prospect that the Global Dream will ever be finished — let alone three planned sister vessels — amid a heated financing dispute between the federal government and Malaysia gambling tycoon Lim Kok Thay.

On Monday, MV Werften, the subsidiary of Lim’s Genting Hong Kong constructing the Global Dream, filed for insolvency after talks with senior government ministers the Friday before failed to free up cash for the shipbuilder.

Genting HK’s shares crashed more than 50% when trading belatedly began for the week on Thursday. As of late morning, the stock had slid to 35.5 Hong Kong cents from a close of 73 Hong Kong cents last Friday. 

MV Werften’s insolvency filing quickly sparked public finger-pointing.

„We, as the federal government, have tried everything to avoid the insolvency of MV Werften and save the jobs,“ Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters. „But the owners have rejected our offer.“

Manuela Schwesig, head of the state government for Wismar, called Genting’s negotiating stance „incomprehensible.“

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