elco Crown, the Macau casino venture between Australian billionaire James Packer and Ho that plans to list in Hong Kong without selling new shares, is awaiting government approval for a revised design of its Studio City development, Ho said.
Melco Crown plans to invest us$ 1.7 billion to build its Macau Studio City hotel and retail complex in the world’s biggest casino hub as part of a plan to boost the share of non-gaming revenue (MPEL) to about 20 % of the total, Ho said, without specifying a timeframe. The casino operator is “confident” of getting bank funding for the project, Ho said.
Melco Crown is one of six licensed Macau casino companies and competes with U.S.-based Las Vegas Sands’s Sands China, Wynn Resorts’ Wynn Macau, MGM China Holdings and Asia-based SJM Holdings, founded by Ho’s father Stanley Ho, and Galaxy Entertainment Group.
Ho’s Melco International Development this week signed a sale and buyback agreement for part of its 33.2 % stake in Melco Crown to help support that company’s planned Hong Kong listing. Melco International Development owns 33.5 % of Melco Crown, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Melco’s other major shareholder is Australia-listed Crown, controlled by Packer.
Macau casino gambling revenue jumped to a record last month, driven by rising wages in China and by an increase of visitors during the country’s week-long National Day holiday.
Revenue from casino companies in the former Portuguese colony rose 42 % to us$ 3.35 billion in October, the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said November 1. The pace rebounded from September’s 39 %, the slowest in eight months.
The People’s Bank of China has raised interest rates five times in the past 12 months to defuse the fastest gains in consumer prices since 2008, steps that have raised concern the pace of economic expansion will slow.