Thursday, December 10, 2009

Melco Crown says no plans to raise equity - 9th December 2009

HONG KONG - Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment does not plan to raise capital through the equity market, but will refinance its debt through bonds and bank loans by the middle of 2010, its chief financial officer said on Wednesday.

Melco Crown, a joint venture between Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Ltd. and Australia's Crown Ltd , would be able to "carry comfortably" $US1.5 to 2 billion ($A1.65 to 2.2 billion) of debt on its balance sheet, CFO Simon Dewhurst told Reuters in an interview.

Melco Crown's stock has nearly halved since it hit its highest level in more than a year on September 23 on concerns about potential fund-raising. In contrast shares of Galaxy Entertainment Group slipped 8.2 per cent in the period.

Macau casino revenues could rise 20 to 25 per cent by the end of 2010 from 2009 levels, on the back of strong economic growth in neighbouring China, Dewhurst said.

"If we assume that China is growing at 10 per cent year-on-year, the gaming industry in Macau will grow for the next 20 years at 20 per cent," Dewhurst said. "I have never found a better proxy for consumer behaviour in China than the Macau gambling story."

Crown shares closed 1.76 lower to $7.79, against a 0.70 per cent decline in the benchmark index. (Credit: Wires, Google News, Reuters, Fairfax)

Media Man Profiles

Crown Melco Entertainment

Crown Macau

Crown Casino