Posted on June 21, 2013 08:03:24 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Cliff Harvey C. Venzon, Reporter
MELCO Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. and Sy-led partner Belle Corp. are on track to open a billion-dollar integrated resort in the middle of next year, a Melco official said Friday.
"Yes we are still on target. Our opening date will be mid-2014. That is the internal target. We have our whole management team running the project," Melco Chairman and President Clarence Chung told reporters in a chance interview in Makati City following the company's stockholders meeting.
Melco Crown Philippines, the local unit of Macau-based Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., was tapped to operate the casino of Belle Grande, one of the four integrated resorts to rise at the Bagong Nayong Pilipino Entertainment City near Manila Bay.
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.
The company, Mr. Chung said, is scouting for a possible partner operator for the hotel.
Melco Crown Philippines conducted a backdoor listing early this year via Manchester International Holdings Corp.
In April, Melco Crown Philippines raised $377 million when it sold to foreign investors around 1.1 billon shares at P14 apiece to fund the resort project.
Aside from Belle, the other licensees at the Entertainment City complex are Razon-led Bloomberry Resorts Corp.; Universal Entertainment Group, under Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada; and Travellers International Hotel Group, a joint venture between Alliance Global Group and Genting Group of Malaysia.
Bloomberry's Solaire Resort and Casino started operations in March, while the others will open in the next three years.
Melco Crown Philippines, which has yet to realize revenues upon the opening of Belle Grande, booked a net loss of of P338.68 million in the first quarter due to operating and development cost and expenses.
Shares of Melco Crown Philippines plunged 57 centavos or 5.7% to P9.43 apiece on Friday.