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MGM Confident of Macau Approval

2 Feb 2005

MACAU – As reported by the Hong Kong Standard: "American casino giant MGM Mirage is close to securing regulatory approval for its proposed joint venture with gambling heiress Pansy Ho to build a casino in Macau, according to company executives.

"…Former gaming regulators had expected MGM to encounter some difficulty in the approval process because of Ho's involvement with Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau and Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM), her family's privately held gambling businesses. Ho is a director of both companies, as well as managing director of Shun Tak Holdings, the Hong Kong-listed hotel, shipping and property company also controlled by the family. MGM's 50-50 joint venture with Ho would operate the casino under a subconcession from SJM.

"…MGM plans to invest US$280 million (HK$2.18 billion) of its own cash in the casino. James Murren, the company's president and chief financial officer, said it expects to seek a big bank loan in April or May for additional funds for the project and that Ho will be putting equity into the MGM Grand Macau as well…"

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