Dec 202013

MANILA, Philippines – The local unit of Macau-based casino giant Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. has secured P15 billion in fresh capital from the sale of corporate notes.

Proceeds from the company’s second fundraising this year will bankroll the completion of its $1.3-billion integrated casino project.

In a regulatory filing, listed Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. said its subsidiary MCE Leisure (Philippines) Corp. priced its senior notes offered to limited investors through a private placement.

“The notes offering consists of P15-billion ($340-million) aggregate principal amount of five-percent senior notes due 2019,” Melco Philippines said.

“MCE Leisure intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for capital expenditure, refinancing of debt and general corporate purpose,” it added.

Nineteen primary institutional lenders joined the private offering, Melco Philippines said, adding that the corporate notes will be issued in January next year subject to customary closing conditions.

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

It is the second fundraising program of Melco Philippines this year. In April, the company secured $377 million through a share sale that was more than six times oversubscribed by 140 investors.

The $1.3-billion City of Dreams Manila will start commercial operations in July next year with 365 gaming tables, 1,680 slot machines and 1,680 electronic table games. Previously, the casino planned to offer only 242 gaming tables and 1,450 electronic gaming machines.

Melco Crown is banking on attracting its wide network of Asian high rollers for its first project outside Macau.

The casino owner and operator operates the City of Dreams and Altira Macau casinos. It is also building its third casino, Studio City, that will open in 2015.

City of Dreams Manila is the first gaming venture of the Sy family, whose flagship company SM Investments Corp. is involved in five core businesses – retail, mall operations, property, banking and hotel and leisure.

City of Dreams Manila will be the second casino complex to open Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s (Pagcor) 120-hectare Entertainment City, which is groomed to become the Philippines’ version of the Las Vegas strip. In March, port mogul Enrique Razon opened the $1.2-billion Solaire Casino & Resort.

Pagcor forecasts that gambling revenues in the Philippines will grow from $1.3 billion in 2011 to at least $10 billion by 2017 coming from the operations of the four gaming giants in Entertainment City.

Sep 142013
Real estate sector to benefit from tourism

MANILA, Philippines – Tourism is still the next big thing in the real estate sector, according to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a leading real estate services firm. JLL country head David Leechiu, in his speech during the recent general membership meeting of the Chamber of Thrift Banks, said for the next four years, there are over 12,431 rooms that are expected to be built. He noted that around half of the upcoming hotels will rise in the Entertainment City. “There are expected about 8,550 supply of hotel rooms in Entertainment City (launched and planned),” he said. The hotels that would be constructed in Entertainment City include: Belle Grande Manila Bay of Belle Corp. (2013); Manila Bay Resorts (2014); Radisson Hotel Manila of SM Investments Corp. (2014); Resorts World Bayshore of Genting Berhad Group/Alliance Global Inc. (2016); Luxury Hotel of Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc.; and Mercure Hotel Manila of CDC Holdings Inc. Other hotels in the pipeline which will be located all over the metropolis and expected to be constructed within 2013-2017 include: WorldHotel Residences of WorldHotels (Makati); Marco Polo Ortigas of Edsa Grand Realty and Development Corp. (Ortigas); Ascott of CDC Holdings Inc. (Bonifacio Global City); Novotel Manila Araneta Center of Araneta Group (Araneta, Quezon City); Citadines of CDC (Makati); Citadines Millennium of CDC (Ortigas); Shangri-La at the Fort of Shang Properties (BGC); Grand Hyatt Manila of Federal Land Inc. (BGC);Conrad Hotel Manila of SMIC (Seaside Boulevard, Pasay City; Movenpick Hotel Manila of Picar Development Inc. (Makati); Savoy Hotel Read More …

Aug 082013
Pagcor sees revenues rising to P45.47B in ‘14

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) sees its gross revenues rising to P45.47 billion in 2014 from the projected P42.9 billion this year, largely due to the opening of the first integrated resort in Entertainment City as well as improving operations of existing casinos. Pagcor president and chief operating officer Jorge Sarmiento said the state gaming regulator remains bullish on the local gaming industry’s prospects given significant contributions from Solaire, which turned in a net profit of P22.7 million in the second quarter, a reversal of the P126.9 million loss incurred in the same period last year. In the first half, Pagcor generated a net income of P1.4 billion or just five percent shy of its P1.476 billion target for the period. Revenues amounted to P21.06 billion, slightly lower than the P21.32 billion recorded in the same period in 2012.  The amount, however, exceeded the state-run gaming regulator’s revenue goal of P20.97 billion during the period. The government’s share from Pagcor’s revenues amounted to P6.97 billion. Under RA 7656, Pagcor is mandated to remit at least 50 percent of its annual revenue to the government. Pagcor likewise contributed P1.345 billion to the Office of the President’s Social Fund. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Revenues from gaming operations reached P14.73 billion or 3.17 percent higher than agency’s target. Income from other related services, on the other hand, amounted to P5.7 billion while other income stood at P636.22 million. Pagcor expects to remit around Read More …

Aug 072013
Meralco eyes P3.6-B add’l revenues

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distributor, expects about P3.6-billion additional revenues from the locators in the 120-hectare Entertainment City project of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., a company official said. Meralco senior vice-president and head for customer retail services Al Panlilio said upon full operations, more than P300 million per month in gross revenues can be generated from the hotel and resort facilities in the complex. “Approximate numbers of gross revenues of more than P300 million and distribution revenues between P17 million to P23 million per month,” Panlilio said. Meralco estimated that Entertainment City would need about 41.5 gigawatt-hours (gwh) per month from all Pagcor licensees. The Entertainment City operators and their expected monthly power requirements are: Manila Bay Resorts (13 gwh); Resorts World Bayshore (22 gwh); Belle Grande (2.5 gwh); and Solaire Resort and Casino (four gwh). Meralco has already sought approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to build a 2.4-kilometer, 115-kilovolt (kV) substation with two 83 mega-volt amperes power transformers worth P1.15 billion. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 “We should have the substation ready by September 2014,” Panlilio said. Without the substation, Meralco said there may be critical loading of existing transformers in the area by 2014 and possibly an overloading by 2015. From January to June this year, Meralco’s consolidated volume of energy sold rose to 16,863 gwh, four percent higher than the volume sold a year ago.

Jul 222013
SMC taps DM Consunji for P10.5-B eng’g proj

MANILA, Philippines – D.M. Consunji Inc., the construction unit of the Consunji family’s listed investment arm DMCI Holdings Inc., bagged a P10.5 billion engineering and  construction contract for the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) expressway phase II project. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, DMCI said D.M. Consunji has signed an agreement with Vertex Tollways Development Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of San Miguel Holdings Corp., for the engineering, procurement and construction contract for a project that will link the capital’s main airport terminals to Entertainment City along Roxas Boulevard. When asked for comment, DMCI Holdings chief financial officer Herbert Consunji said the contract is worth around P10.5 billion. The contract involves about 2.2 kilometers of at grade works within the Entertainment City area and about five kilometer four-lane elevated and viaduct connecting to the existing Skyway. DMCI said the phase II works comprise the design and construction of the viaduct extension from the existing phase 1 to Roxas Boulevard, Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard and NAIA terminals 1 and 2 over the existing roads of Sales Road, Andrews Avenue, domestic airport road, NAIA road and Imelda Avenue and includes on and off ramps, connection ramps and provision of toll plazas. San Miguel had been given by the government until the end of the year to complete the detailed engineering for the toll road, which is estimated to cost around P15.52 billion. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Construction is expected to take approximately two years with full Read More …

Jul 052013
GSIS to increase exposure in stock market – Vergara

MANILA, Philippines – The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) continues to take an active approach to equity investing by leveraging opportunities in a volatile market, according to its top official. GSIS president and general manager Robert Vergara said the country’s largest pension fund remains a long-term investor in the stock market and sees market volatility as an opportunity to load up on stocks with strong fundamentals. “We will increase our exposure whenever there are opportunities to add to our investments at attractive valuation levels as we have done in recent weeks,” Vergara said. Vergara said the fund also continues to be on the lookout for alternative investments that will boost returns amid a low interest rate environment. Just recently, GSIS participated in the preferred share offering of listed gaming firm Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LRWC), taking up P800 million out of the P1.65 billion deal. The non-voting and non-participating preferred shares have a coupon rate of 8.5 percent per annum and are paid semi-annually. For each 20 preferred shares, the holders are entitled to one warrant convertible to common shares starting on the fifth year. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Each warrant, if exercised at a price of P15 or the average weighted trading price for the three months prior (whichever is lower) will be converted to one common share. Vergara said the fund’s investment in LRWC reflects the agency’s confidence in the Philippine gaming industry, which is forecast to generate total revenues of $2.5 Read More …

Jun 262013
Melco unit shoring up capital

MANILA, Philippines – The local unit of Macau-based casino giant Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. is shoring up the capitalization of a subsidiary that holds a Philippine gaming license. In a regulatory filing, Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. said its board of directors approved the purchase of 40 million common shares of MCE Holdings (Philippines) Corp. worth P9.5 billion. MCE Holdings is the parent firm of MCE Leisure (Philippines) Corp., a partner of SM Investments Corp., Belle Corp. and Premium Leisure Amusement Inc. in the gaming license at the 120-hectare Entertainment City. The companies hold a provisional license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), allowing them to build an integrated casino and hotel. Fresh capital will allow MCE Holdings to bankroll the construction of the $1.3-billion Belle Grande casino project in the Pagcor complex. In April, Melco Philippines raised $377 million after selling 1.09 billion shares at P14 apiece, the high end of the P11-14 price range, to fund the casino’s construction. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Last week, Melco Philippines president and chairman Clarence Chung said the company is on track to starting commercial operations of Belle Grande Manila in the middle of 2014. The megacasino operator is banking on Chinese high rollers to prop up the country’s gaming revenues. Melco Philippines is the operator of the 950-room Belle Grande Manila casino and resort complex being built by Belle, the upscale leisure developer of mall and banking conglomerate SMIC. Belle Grande Manila will be Read More …

Jun 142013
Bloomberry looks to raise fresh funding abroad

MANILA, Philippines – Razon-led Bloomberry Resorts Corp., the operator of the $1.2-billion Solaire Resort and Casino in Entertainment City, is looking to raise fresh funding abroad by tapping an international unit for the issuance of bonds and notes. The company said in a disclosure to the stock exchange that its board of directors approved the amendment in the articles of incorporation “to include in its primary purpose the power to guarantee the obligations of its subsidiaries or affiliates or any entity in which the corporation has lawful interest.” “This amendment will allow Bloomberry to raise funds through issuance of bonds or notes by offshore financing vehicles that it will guarantee,” it added. The guarantee clause to an offshore unit also provides Bloomberry a vehicle to raise funds from international investors. The amendment in the articles of incorporation is subject to shareholders’ approval during the company’s annual stockholders meeting on June 24. Since early this year, several listed firms have guaranteed the debts of their offshore units. In January, the overseas unit of taipan John Gokongwei’s investment vehicle JG Summit Holdings Inc. announced plans to raise funds through corporate notes. JG Summit will guarantee the debts of subsidiary JGSH Philippines Ltd. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 In March, Filinvest Development Corp. of the Gotianun family said it will guarantee the payment of interest rates of an offshore unit’s planned issuance of $300 million bonds. Bloomberry, for its part, has yet to announce the amount it intends to Read More …

Jun 052013
San Miguel releases P11B for NAIA Expressway project

MANILA, Philippines – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) Terminals 1 and 2 will soon be connected to the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard and the Entertainment City casino complex after the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) released P11 billion for the construction of the NAIA Expressway Phase II project, the Palace announced on Wednesday. SMC made the payment through the SMC Vertex Tollways Development, Inc. after winning the bid last April 15. The Department of Public Works and Highways sent to SMC last May 6 the formal notice for award for the project. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the project could start some time this month, to be divided in two phases. The proposed NAIA Expresssway has a total length of 7.15 kilometers, with the first phase expected to be completed in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2015. “Hopefully before APEC, that will be completed. There’s another phase which is II-B, which will connect the Skyway to the existing tollways,” Lacierda said. The P15.5-billion NAIA Expressway Phase II project is the third public-private partnership project to be successfully bidded out by the government, the Palace reported.

Jun 052013
San Miguel pays P11 billion for NAIA expressway project

MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the expressway for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) could now start after conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) gave the P11-billion upfront payment to the government for the project, a Palace official announced on Wednesday. The company released the upfront payment through the SMC Vertex Tollways Development Inc., according to Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda. San Miguel won the P11-billion bid last April 15 and a formal notice for award was given by the Department of Public Works and Highways to the company last May 6. Lacierda said  that with the payment, the project could start sometime in June. The proposed NAIA Expressway, which has a total length of 7.15 kilometers, will connect the airport’s Terminals I and II to Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard and the Entertainment City casino complex. The project has two phases: Phase II-A and Phase II-B. The Cabinet official said Phase II-A will be completed in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2015.  Phase II-A will connect NAIA Terminals I and II through an elevated tollway structure to Roxas Boulevard and the Entertainment City, he said. “Hopefully before APEC, that will be completed. There’s another phase which is II-B, which will connect the Skyway to the existing tollways,” Lacierda said.