Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No Indication Of Default From Las Vegas Sands, Says DBS Group

Source : Channel NewsAsia, 07 November 2008

US gaming firm Las Vegas Sands intends to finish a casino project it is building in Singapore and there are no indications it will default on loans, lender DBS Group said on Friday.

An artist's impression of Marina Bay integrated resort in Singapore

DBS is one of 40 banks that formed a syndicate to fund the Marina Bay Sands casino development, which is estimated to cost more than four billion US dollars.

"All signals I'm getting from the management of Las Vegas Sands is that they intend to finish the project and move on," DBS chief executive Richard Stanley said at a news conference on the bank's third-quarter earnings.

"I have to accept what they say and I have seen in recent days a strong commitment to the project from Las Vegas Sands... There's been no default, there's been no indication of default," he said, adding there was no need to provide for loan provisions.

"As of now, all the equity commitments have been made, the project is proceeding in pace."

Stanley's comments followed a filing by Las Vegas Sands on Thursday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in which it sounded out a warning about its financial situation.

In the filing, the gaming giant said it may have to stop or ease up the pace of its global projects should it fail to secure the necessary funding or obtain favourable credit terms.

"If the company is not able to obtain the requisite financing or the terms are not as favourable as it anticipates, the company may be required to slow or suspend its global development activities... until such financing or other sources of funds become available," Las Vegas Sands said.

"These factors raise a substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern." It said Las Vegas Sands' projects in Macau's Cotai Strip will be among those affected.

The company, headed by billionaire gaming tycoon Sheldon Adelson, operates the Sands Macao and The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel in Macau.

Citi Singapore, which is also providing loans for the project, said the long-term viability of Marina Bay Sands has not changed.

Citi's head of corporate banking, Silas Lee, said the fundamentals of the project still stand although short-term uncertainty is expected, given the current market conditions.

According to reports, Sands held talks this week with the Singapore government over the Marina Bay project.

The Singapore Tourism Board said last month that it was in talks with Marina Bay Sands to facilitate the successful completion of the project. - AFP/CNA/ir/so

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