Las Vegas Sands says to resume Macau projects in 2009

Hong Kong (Reuters) – Las Vegas Sands said on Thursday it aims to resume construction of its stalled Macau projects by year-end with talks now ongoing with potential new investors to restart the half-finished Cotai strip projects.

„We are certainly looking to resume in this calendar year, keeping in mind that when we suspended these works, we were only about nine months off from opening the first phase,“ Stephen Weaver, the firm’s Asia President told reporters.

Weaver, however, wouldn’t give specifics on who the investors might be though said it was not the Macau government.

The debt-straddled Sands said late last year it was halting any further casino expansion in Macau and laid off most of the 11,000 or so construction workers working on phase one of two plots of land on the Cotai strip.

Sands has said since last November it was in talks with a syndicate of banks to secure funding of around USD 1.5 to 2 billion to finance its stalled projects, which are a stone’s throw from its gargantuan Venetian Macau casino resort, the world’s largest casino, also on the stretch of reclaimed land in Macau called the Cotai Strip fashioned after Las Vegas‘ famed neon alley.

Sands also said they were on track to open the first phase of its USD 5.4 billion Marina Bay Sands in Singapore by the end of this year, and there was no risk with regard to funds drying up.

„The company has funds available at the parent level which if needed, could be used to complete the project. I think you should rest assured that this would be financed,“ said Weaver.