• $1.3-B Belle Grande on track to open mid-2014

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    The construction of Belle Grande Manila Bay Casino Resort, the $1.3-billion joint venture project of Melco Crown Philippines (MCP) and Belle Corp. in Parañaque City, is still on track to meet the companies’ target opening date in mid-2014.

    “We are still on target. Our opening date will be mid-2014, that is our internal target. We have our whole management team running the project,” Clarence Chung, MCP chairman and president, said after the company’s annual stockholders meeting held on Friday.

    Chung said that project is in the process of being redesigned.

    “Before we enter into a joint venture contract with them [Belle Corp.], they are building the building. You can see the property already. They have done a good job. We took over the property and we did the internal fit-outs. Obviously as explained, we have to do certain redesign given that to cater even better the future needs, being the best integrated resort casino hotel in the Philippines,” Chung said.

    “We are moving full steam in terms of doing the fit. It will be very exciting. It will be one of the best casino and hotel in town when it opens,” he added.

    Chung specified that the “improved” Belle Grande will have 950 rooms, 240 tables and 1,250 slot machines.

    The Philippine unit of Hong Kong-based Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. raised $377 million from a share sale in April to finance Belle Grande.

    Lauro Baja 3rd, managing director at UBS Philippines, said earlier that MCP priced its shares at P14 each, at the top end of the P11 to P14 indicative range.

    MCP then sold 981.18-million common shares and allotted up to 117.08 million to cover the overallotment option.

    Madelaine B. Miraflor

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