Packer’s casinos list soon

The USD 1 billion (AUD 1.3 billion) Nasdaq listing of James Packer’s Macau casino interests could go ahead as early as next month.

Hong Kong media have reported that the long-expected listing of the Macau casino assets of Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting and the Hong Kong-based Melco could get under way in December.

This follows the recent decision by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to withdraw its objection to Melco’s plans.

PBL and Melco had been originally hoping for a listing this year but their plans were delayed by the initial objections from the Hong Kong exchange.

PBL has given few details of the plans, which could see the two spin off about 10 to 15 per cent of their Macau assets on the US over-the-counter market as part of a move to raise funds for their casino expansion plans.

Investment bankers at Credit Suisse, Citigroup and UBS have been working on the proposed Nasdaq listing for some months.

Plans for the listing may have been brought forward as shares in PBL and US casino stocks such as the Wynn group have risen because of rising expectations of the returns from the Macau gambling market.

Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts said this week that it would be adding a second hotel tower to the AUD 1.5 billion Wynn Macau hotel/casino it opened in the city in September.

The work is expected to be done by Leighton Asia, which built the casino and has already been working on the second stage of Wynn Macau which is expected to open next year.

Wynn Resorts announced plans to go after the high-roller market with a new Wynn Diamond Suites, an all-suite hotel to be built behind its current resort – the third stage of its Macau development.

The 600-room Wynn Macau pulled in USD 45 million in revenues in the first 25 days of its opening in September with 212 gaming tables and 375 poker machines.

The second stage of the development, which will open in the first half of next year, will feature another 119 gambling tables and another 300 poker machines.

The Wynn group said it now took in 11.5 per cent of Macau’s gambling revenues.