Kangwon Land unaffected by China squeeze

Kangwon Land Co Ltd has been cashing in on its monopoly of domestic patrons, unaffected by the Chinese VIP downturn, much unlike their foreigner-only peers.

Kangwon Land stock surged 21 percent in 2015, now valued at $7.2 billion. It is the only casino in South Korea to admit locals, allowing for stable growth despite its remote location.
“Kangwon Land does better and better as small fry keep coming,” said Kim Jung-suk, owner of the Ten Billion Pawn Shop, one of dozens of colorful pawn shops clustered outside the resort’s gates. “There’s no off-season.”

The casino brought in $1.6 trillion won ($1.3 billion) in revenue in 2015, up 9 percent from the year before.

In comparison, foreigner-only Paradise Co Ltd and Grand Korea Leisure (GKL) fell 9 percent and 6.5 percent year on year, according to Reuters.

Despite a trailing 12 month price-to-earnings ratio of 23.17, double that of its foreigner-only peers, many consider Kangwon Land a safe bet. “As a stock, it’s like a utility.” said Lee Jin-woo, fund manager at KTB Asset Management.