he firm may sign agreements with seven main banks, including international and Chinese lenders, as soon as this week, he said an interview in Hong Kong yesterday.
The company will also spend about us$ 500 million from its initial public offering in November on the resort in Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal. “We will be fully financed,” Jacobs said. “We’re starting.” The us$ 2.24 billion project, occupying two sites on the Cotai Strip opposite the company’s Venetian Macao on the island of Coloane, will add 6,000 rooms to the 3,600 Sands China has in the city, he said.
Billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. stopped construction in Cotai in 2008 as credit markets froze and revenue growth slowed. Sands China has said it hopes to emulate its parent’s business model in the U.S., where non-gambling businesses, including conventions and retail, have outgrown its casino operations.
Sands China fell 2.5 % to close at us$ 1.34 in Hong Kong, compared with a decline of 1.4 % in the benchmark Hang Seng index. The stock has risen 16.3 % this year. Net income in the first quarter more than quadrupled to us$ 110.5 million while sales rose 24 % to us$ 944 million, the company said in a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange today.
The expansion will include two casinos, 74,322 sqm of retail area and 74,322 sqm of meeting space, Jacobs said. Sands China will open most of the new resort as early as third quarter of next year, he said.
Macau’s government’s announced April 24 it started working on a proposed legislation to set employment ratios between non- resident and local workers. This proposed legislation isn’t likely to delay construction of Sands China’s expansion project, Jacobs said.
“I think we’ve had a long enough history and successful enough history with the government that as the project gets under way, we’ll find ways to get to the end point, which is the opening,” Jacobs said. “We’re embedded in such a heavy density of demand for our products.”
Sands China in 2007 opened the 3,000-room Venetian Macao, a casino resort featuring 9,290 sqm of exhibition and meeting space, a 15,000-seat arena and a shopping mall.
Macau’s casino revenue rose about 70 % to more than us$ 1.8 billion in April from a year ago, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported, citing data from the casino operators. Revenue rose 60 % in the first four months to us$ 6.7 billion, according to Lusa.