Philippines

 

Ayala Land Inc., the largest Philippine property developer, has ruled out joining other major local companies pushing into the gambling industry. "We will stay focused on family entertainment because most of our customers would prefer more family entertainment,” said  Antonino Aquino, company president. The company did not rule out retail developments to support gaming projects, but said it believed there was more demand for family entertainment. The company is converting a former horse racing center into a sport and cultural complex.

 

 

Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. (PH:MCP), the local unit of Macau's Melco Crown Entertainment, has filed with regulators to sell up to 1.2 billion shares to raise $400 million. The funds are to be used for the development of the Belle Grand Manila Bay, Melco's $1 billion joint venture casino hotel with local developer Belle Corp.

 

 

Greg Fermont, a veteran of several gambling-related companies in the Philippines, has been recruited to be chief operating officer of Bodog Asia, which has more than 1,000 staff in Manila. Fermont was most recently head of products development and implementation at Xela Holdings, the online arm of junket operator Sun City, and was previously with Sky Arrow Technology Inc, AsianLogic Ltd and Playtech Ltd.

 

 

 

President Benigno Aquino has ordered an investigation into a mass shooting of a supposed criminal gang after it was discovered that among those killed were a known illegal lottery boss and the police who were acting as his bodyguards.  Instead of the gang ramming a road block and initiating a gunfight, as was originally reported by the police, it now looks as though the incident was a planned execution, with the roadblock set up deliberately.  Twenty-one police officers and 14 members of a military unit are in custody pending further investigation.

 

Philippine stocks rallied again this week after a sell-off last Monday, with gaming stocks being a particular focus for investors.  It is expected that shares will be traded heavily, especially in Bloomberry Resorts (BLOOM) ahead of the opening of its Solaire Manila resort next month.  

 

In its new research note entitled “Let the Games Begin”, Credit Suisse declared that it was positive about the prospects of the Philippine gaming market, predicting a compounded annual growth rate of 28 percent between 2012 and 2018.  The report pointed to the fact that the Philippines has a population three times larger than that of Singapore, Macau and Malaysia combined and that it has the fastest growing working population in emerging Asia.

 

A 93 percent stake of Philippine based Manchester International Holdings Unlimited Corp. (MIH) is being bought by Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL) at USD $30.8bn to be used as an investment vehicle in the company's Manila Bay joint venture project with Belle Corp.

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