elco’s two major shareholders are Lawrence Ho’s Melco International Development and Australian gaming company Crown Limited, headed by James Packer. Melco International Development will list part of its 33.2 %t in Melco Crown – up to 6% – in the dual listing operation.
But instead of issuing new shares, Melco chose a listing of shares already on issue. This alternative, called listing by introduction, will raise no additional funds. The company moved away from a global offering in view of “current market sentiment,” Melco co-chairman Lawrence Ho Yau Lung conceded. Yet the son of gaming tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun is “confident” of getting bank funding for the us$ 1.7 billion Macau Studio City.
Discussions with banks are in progress, said Melco’s CFO Geoffrey Davis, quoted by Reuters. “We are comfortable that we can fund our equity component of the financing of Macau Studio City with existing cash and cashflow.” The operator is still awaiting government approval for a revised design of the Studio City development, which includes a casino, he confirmed.
The goal is to boost the share of non-gaming revenue to about 20 % of the total, Ho said this week, without specifying a timeframe. The local businessman expects Macau annual casino industry revenue growth to slow to about 15 % to 20 % next year. The current expansion rate of more than 40 % for Macau casinos is “unsustainable in the long-term,” Ho told reporters in Hong Kong.