Poker Faces in the Marina Gamble
So is Capitaland, which is 40% owned by Temasek Holdings, eyeing Las Vegas Sands‘ casino project in Singapore? The local property giant had initially teamed with MGM Mirage in 2005 in a bid which Sands won. Looks like the tables might be turned if the CIMB-GK Research crystal ball gazing turns out to be accurate. However, Capitaland then threw the market into further uncertainly when they denied any hostile interest in Sands. Today, the government clarified that they won’t bail out Sands if the casino giant fails to raise US$2 billion. But then again, Temasek is officially a private company.
What this means for the 10,000 hoping to be employed in the Marina gambling and entertainment centre, until the casino is up, they can’t start working there. LV Sands priced dropped to an astonishing $5 range from about $122 in December last year. But it is doubtful that LV Sands would collapse as there are many hungry wolves at its door eager to lend money as bail out.
Singapore government will not bail out Las Vegas Sands
By Nicholas Fang, Channel NewAsia | Posted: 12 November 2008 1322 hrs
SINGAPORE: The Singapore government said Wednesday it will not bail out the troubled US gaming firm Las Vegas Sands should it fail to fund the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry S Iswaran said there has been no request from Sands for a bail out so far.
Sands has been working to avoid defaulting on bank covenants and announced on Tuesday that it was raising some US$2 billion in capital.
There have been concerns about whether Sands has the financial ability to finish the resort at Marina Bay, after it ran into financial difficulties.
Mr Iswaran, who was speaking on the sidelines of an industry conference, said the government and Sands have a development agreement which specifies clear rights for both parties.
He revealed that Sands had asked the Singapore Tourism Board to adjust the timelime for the construction of the Marina Bay Sands resort.
The government is reviewing the request to see if it will conflict with its own plans for an integrated resort to be built by 2009.
Mr Iswaran added there is no reason to think that a large proportion of planned jobs for the project will be lost, although they may be put on hold.
While the government would not participate in any bailout of Sands, there is speculation that government-linked companies may be interested.
Mr Iswaran said government-linked companies are commercial enterprises and have to make their own decisions on whether an investment makes business sense. He added that it is not for the government to tell them what to do.