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Stake in London Clubs to Help Genting Expansion

23 Dec 2004

Las Vegas Sun

MALAYSIA – Genting Bhd.'s increased stake in a U.K. company will help Asia's largest publicly traded casino operator diversify amid rising competition in the region, investors and analysts said.

Kuala Lumpur-based Genting raised its stake in London Clubs International Plc twice in the past week. It increased its holding in the British owner of 11 casinos to 19.1 percent on Dec. 20 after lifting it to 16.2 percent last Friday, according to a Regulatory News Service statement yesterday.

"t's a necessary move," said Chong Sui San, who helps manage the equivalent of $395 million at Allianz General Insurance Malaysia Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. "Whatever opening there is outside Malaysia, I think they will just grab it."

For Genting, whose mountaintop resort near the Malaysian capital attracts gamblers from all over Asia, increased rivalry from U.S. operators in Macau and a possible casino in neighboring Singapore may siphon away visitors.

Las Vegas Sands Corp., which last week debuted on the New York Stock Exchange with a 61 percent surge, had opened the Sands Macau casino in the Chinese territory this year. The company is also interested in Singapore's plan to allow a casino as it vies with other Asian countries for tourists and conventions.

Copyright © Las Vegas Sun. Inc. Republished with permission.

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