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MGM plans Macau casino expansion

16 Oct 2009

MACAU -- As reported by Reuters: "MGM Mirage and Macau partner Pansy Ho plan to expand their casino and begin inspecting sites for potential resorts as they mull an initial public offering.

"The Macau venture is 'under-represented' in the market and is 'working on plans' to finish the 70,000 square feet of its casino's second floor, MGM Mirage Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Jim Murren said in a phone interview. MGM Grand Macau intends to look at sites in the Chinese city to build resorts, he said.

"MGM Mirage follows rivals Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. in seeking to raise funds from selling stakes in their operations in Macau where gambling revenue is recovering. Still, Murren's reiteration of plans to sell shares comes a day after a report that China tightened curbs on citizens' travel to Macau, the only Chinese region where casinos are legal.

"'In the short term, too many Macau plays may not be too good because of the unclear picture' surrounding travel policy, John Koh, who helps manage $1.1 billion at MEAG Hong Kong Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

"Wynn Macau Ltd., controlled by billionaire Steve Wynn, raised HK$14.5 billion ($1.87 billion) in Hong Kong's second- biggest offering this year and Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands said in August its Macau unit had applied for an Hong Kong IPO. Sands may raise at least $2 billion in the offer, company President Michael Leven said July 8..."

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