Monday, November 10, 2008

Marina IR Will Go On: MM Lee

Source : The Business Times, November 10, 2008

The US$4.5 billion Marina Bay Sands integrated resort project in Singapore will go on, said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

This comes on the back of growing concerns that the casino project could be in jeopardy after the parent company said last week it was looking at a capital raising.

'The Sands integrated resort is under pressure,' MM Lee told Tanjong Pagar residents at a community event yesterday, adding that the company was highly-leveraged as it expanded to places such as Macau.

The Chinese have now restricted the number of people who can go to Macau and this has caused the company's share price to decline, he said.

'But in Singapore, that project will go on because we are not depending on China and Chinese workers coming in from the rest of China to visit our integrated resorts.'

Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson had told the local media last week that he felt the need to 'personally reaffirm our commitment to the success of Marina Bay Sands'.

Mr Adelson - who injected US$475 million of his own money into the company recently - also revealed that he had met with Singapore government officials on a range of subjects such as the pace of construction and marketing efforts with the Singapore Tourism Board.

The Marina Bay resort is expected to hire some 10,000 workers before it begins operations next year. The three local banks' exposure to the project is said to be around $2.2 billion.

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