Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sands raises $3.2b for projects

Sands raises $3.2b for projects Nov 19, 2008
By Lim Wei Chean

CASINO operator Las Vegas Sands announced yesterday that it had raised the additional US$2.1 billion (S$3.2 billion) required to complete its development commitments, including Singapore's integrated resort in Marina Bay.
Its ability to do so also prompted its auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to remove a warning that there was 'substantial doubt' the company could continue operating.

The fate of the Marina Bay integrated resort came into question after PwC, in a regulatory filing last week, said Las Vegas Sands could go bust.

The news had Singapore worried that the casino operator would not be able to complete the US$4.5 billion project as promised.

However, Sands' top executives affirmed last week that the Marina Bay Sands IR remained its 'top priority'.

To ensure that it could complete the Singapore development, it has suspended projects in Macau and Las Vegas. It also went on a drive to raise new capital through selling of stocks and warrants. The latest amount raised will be used as collateral for Sands to draw on its loan for the local project, among others.

On Monday , Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry

S. Iswaran assured Parliament that the project was still going ahead, and that the authorities were working with the company to complete it.

He also stressed that there was no concession from the Government in allowing the number of gaming tables to be upped from 600 to 1,000. The restriction on the casino remains at 15,000 sq m.