Friday, November 7, 2008

Sands: IR Will Go On

Source : The Straits Times, Nov 7, 2008

CASINO operator Las Vegas Sands issued a statement on Friday evening to reassure Singapore that its US$4.5 billion (S$6.7 billion) integrated resort in Marina Bay there is still on. This comes amid fresh doubts raised by its auditor PriceWaterhouseCoopers that the company may not be able to continue operating.

Mr Adelson insists that the 'the Singapore Government's support of our (Integrated Resort at Marina Bay, left) project remains strong.' -- PHOTO: LAS VEGAS SANDS

Las Vegas Sands Corp chairman and chief executive officer Sheldon Adelson said: 'When we were selected to develop an Integrated Resort at Marina Bay, we made a commitment to the Singapore Government and the people of Singapore. In light of recent turmoil in the global markets, I felt the need to personally reaffirm our commitment to the success of Marina Bay Sands. I am pleased to say that the Singapore Government's support of our project remains strong.'

Top executives from the company met up with Singapore Government officials this week to discuss its rate of construction and joint marketing effort with the Singapore Tourism Board to bring more conventions, exhibitions and corporate meetings to the Republic.

They also said that it has received approval from the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore to have up to 1,000 gaming tables. The final layout, however, is subject to approval when the IR applies for its licence next year.

Mr Adelson said the approval represents a 'significant milestone' and that the company is still 'aggressively' moving towards its opening.

The company's stock prices dropped 32.7 per cent on Thursday to US$7.85 following the bad news from the regulatory filing.

Its auditor PriceWaterhouseCoopers had said in a regulatory filing that the casino operator, which has an US$8.8 billion long-term debt at the end of June will not be able to meet lenders' requirements unless it cuts spending on developments, boosts earnings at its Las Vegas Strip casinos and raises more capital.

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