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Casino operator sets additional investment in unit

Posted on June 26, 2013 10:32:40 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
THE BOARD of Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. has approved a P9.5-billion equity infusion in a wholly owned subsidiary, the casino operator said in a regulatory filing attached to a disclosure yesterday.
“During the meeting of the board of directors of Melco Crown Philippines held today, June 26, 2013, the board approved the subscription by the corporation... to an additional 40 million common shares of the unissued capital stocks of its wholly owned subsidiary, MCE Holdings (Philippines) Corp., with a par value of P1 per share at a total subscription price of P9.5 billion,” the company said.
Company officials were not immediately available for additional details.
MCE Holdings owns MCE Holdings No. 2 (Philippines) Corp., which in turn owns MCE Leisure (Philippines) Corp.
The consortium of MCE Leisure Philippines and SM Group’s Belle Corp. is one of the four licensees at the Bagong Nayong Pilipino Entertainment City in ParaƱaque City, now showcased as the country’s emerging gaming hub.
Belle is currently building Belle Grande, which is scheduled to be opened by the third quarter of next year. The integrated casino complex will be operated by Melco.
Belle Grande, which will rise on a 6.2-hectare site, will have mass market and VIP gaming facilities, restaurants, entertainment attractions, upscale boutique hotel facilities, a family entertainment center and a night club.
Melco Crown Philippines, the local unit of Macau-based Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., conducted a backdoor listing early this year via Manchester International Holdings Corp.
Last April, Melco Crown Philippines raised $377 million when it sold to foreign investors around 1.1 billion worth of shares at P14 apiece to fund the casino project.
Aside from SM Group-Melco consortium, the three other licensees at the casino complex are: Razon-led Bloomberry Resorts Corp.; Universal Entertainment Group of Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada; and Travellers International Hotel Group, which is a joint venture between Alliance Global Group and Genting Group of Malaysia.
Melco Crown Philippines, which has yet to realize revenues from its planned casino, booked a net loss of P338.68 million in the first quarter due to operating and development cost and expenses.
Its shares added 29 centavos or 3.82% to close at P7.89 apiece yesterday from P7.60 each on Tuesday. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon      
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