Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sands Says Completing S'pore IR Project No. 1 Priority

Source : The Business Times, November 11, 2008

Completion of an integrated resort project in Singapore remains the top priority of US gaming giant Las Vegas Sands, the firm's chairman said on Tuesday while announcing a halt to some developments in Macau.

'Completing and opening Marina Bay Sands is the number one priority for our company,' Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas Sands chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

The Marina Bay Sands development is scheduled to open in Singapore by the end of next year.

'As part of my visit to Singapore last week, I assured the government we were very committed to the success of Marina Bay Sands and would have the funding necessary to complete this development. That is exactly where we stand today,' he said.

Last Friday, Mr Adelson affirmed the company's commitment to its Singapore project after a filing with US regulators sparked doubts about its financial health.

Las Vegas Sands' US-listed share price has plummeted from US$148 last October to around US$8 this month on worries about its debt burden.

But the company said it was 'in the process of' raising an additional US$2 billion in funding commitments.

Las Vegas Sands also said on Tuesday it was halting part of its huge development in the southern Chinese gambling haven of Macau due to trouble accessing credit during the global financial crisis.

The firm, which operates two casinos in Macau including the giant Venetian, said that work on parts of a US$12-billion resort and casino development on a reclaimed strip of land - called the Cotai Strip - would be stopped.

It said it would continue to seek financing that would allow it to complete the project, which includes an 1,800-room Sheraton hotel and three casinos.

Sands posts loss
Sands also reported a narrower third-quarter net loss and said it expects to shortly release details of a US$2 billion bond sale.

The company posted a net loss of US$32.2 million compared with a net loss of US$48.5 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Sands attributed the smaller loss to increases in operating income and an income tax gain, partially offset by an increase in interest expense and a decrease in other income.

After adjusting for one-time items, Sands said it earned 2 cents a share in the quarter, well short of the 11 cents a share expected by analysts, as compiled by Reuters Estimates.

The company said net revenue rose 67 per cent to US$1.11 billion, close to the US$1.16 billion expected by analysts. -- AFP, REUTERS

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