Tag Archives: macao

Wynn To Seek $1.6 Billion In Hong Kong IPO: WSJ

IPO Follows Record Revenue In Macau Last Month And Indications That Beijing Will Loosen Visa Restrictions F0r Mainland Chinese

Macau, the "Vegas of the East," is bouncing back to life after a tough year

Macau, the "Vegas of the East," is bouncing back to life after a tough year

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Las Vegas-based casino operator Wynn Resorts is looking for as much as US$1.6 billion (HK$ 12.6 billion) “based on pricing set over the weekend for a Hong Kong listing of the company’s Macau assets next month.” This IPO could precede others by foreign casinos in Macau, as the article notes that Wynn competitor Sheldon Adelson may also be eyeing a Hong Kong listing for his company as it emerges from the global economic downturn — which put a sizeable dent in several construction projects that had been slated for the Venetian Macau last year.

The relatively quick rebound of the Chinese tourist (or, even more likely, Cantonese gambling enthusiasts from Hong Kong, Shenzhen and elsewhere in Guangdong province) has injected a much-needed dose of optimism among major companies in Macau, which depend greatly on the continued spending and investment of mainland Chinese visitors and companies as well as the capital and expertise of foreign casino operators like Wynn to keep the former Portuguese colony’s growing economy running smoothly.

Over the weekend, Wynn and its bankers set a price range of between HK$8.52 and HK$10.08 per share for the IPO, the person said. The company is offering 1.25 billion shares, equivalent to 25% of the equity of Wynn’s Macau operations, the person added. The company had earlier been expected to raise about US$1 billion in its offering.

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“City Of Dreams” Casino Adds To Allure Of Macau’s Cotai Strip

Melco Entertainment Makes $2 Billion Bet That Macau’s Tourism, Gambling Industry Will Soon Recover From Global Slump

City of Dreams is one of the world's most high-tech, feature-heavy casinos and entertainment complexes

City of Dreams is one of the world's most high-tech, feature-heavy casino and entertainment complexes

We have written several times before on the efforts of Macau’s tourism department to draw in guests from neighboring Mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as foreign guests from the periphery of East Asia and elsewhere. But despite the department’s efforts, overall confidence levels have been spotty at best in the last year, with some entertainment companies, like the Las Vegas Sands Corp., dramatically cutting back in Macau. However, this month there has been good news coming out of Macau’s glitzy Cotai Strip (the city’s answer to the Vegas Strip), with the opening of Melco’s “City of Dreams” casino, a $2 billion project that features 516 gambling tables in a 420,000-square-foot casino, Hard Rock and Grand Hyatt hotels along with a multimedia theater and shops run by DFS.

According to the casino’s owners, City of Dreams is designed to be one of the world’s most advanced gaming complexes, offering a sort of all-inclusive departure from many of Macau’s more old-fashioned gaming centers, but still remaining close enough to the city’s traditional tourism draws to appeal to a wide tourist demographic. With the unusually large investment that Melco has made in this project, however, it is clear that the company is not simply trying to pull foreign tourists away from its rivals, it is also trying to crack a market that has frustrated other casinos for years — the Mainland or Hong Kong gambler. While this group obviously comes to Macau often and spends freely, the problem has traditionally been getting these individuals to stay in Macau for more than one or two days. With the huge array of amenities at “City of Dreams,” Melco is showing their ambition to get this demographic to respond.

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Macau: A Complex (And Exciting) Destination in the PRC

Macau, Having Already Surpassed Las Vegas As A Gambling Destination, Sets Its Sights On Cultural, Culinary Offerings To Lure Tourists

Macau has quickly established itself as the "Vegas of the East"

Macau has quickly established itself as the "Vegas of the East"

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Since its handover in 1999, Macau has rapidly become one of Asia’s top destinations for gambling, luring thousands of gamers from mainland China and Hong Kong. If Macau’s tourism department has its way, though, the city will soon be as renowned as a cultural destination as well — playing on its unique blend of Portuguese colonial and Chinese culture, architecture, and culinary traditions. Although construction of luxury apartments and casinos has slowed somewhat due to the global economic crisis, the city looks at the continuing growth of the Chinese tourist as a way to buoy a relatively sluggish tourism season.

Macau is unique in that it has, much like neighboring Hong Kong, combined two disparate cultures over the centuries to the point where they no longer seem distinct but instead form the one-of-a-kind Macanese culture. The city has also combined the entrepreneurial, fast-paced culture of China’s biggest cities with a fascinating mix of people, cultures, and languages, making this one of the world’s most exciting, truly global cities. The city has also become one of East Asia’s luxury hubs.

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Macao Investing Heavily To Beat Global Slowdown

Construction On A Number Of Stalled Projects To Start Up Again, As City Aims To Cement Its Reputation As The “Vegas Of The East”

One Central, set to be completed within the year, is to be one of Macao's top luxury residential complexes

One Central, set to be completed within the year, is to be one of Macao's top luxury residential complexes

Macao, the former Portuguese colony that rejoined China in 1999, has had its share of ups and downs over the past few years. In recent years, the city replaced Las Vegas as the world’s largest gambling market by total revenue, but not long after gaining this distinction, the city was hit hard by the global economic downturn — which bit into the city’s crucial tourism industry as well as its breakneck pace of construction. Now, as the recession eases somewhat in the region — China itself has not been hit as hard as many more developed economies — Macao aims to restart its vast construction efforts and attract more young professionals, luxury shoppers, and gamblers.

Today, the New York Times has a great article on the ongoing transformation of Macao — what was once a backwater trading hub has, like its neighbor Hong Kong, over the years become an important business and tourism center. As the city continues to carve its unique place in the Chinese and East Asian economies, developers continue to work hard to create in Macao a world-class real estate and travel destination. With large-scale luxury developments like One Central due to open within the year, it looks like Macao is, indeed, starting to get back on its feet:

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Hong Kong Solidifies Its Place In The Global Art World

Runaway Success Of HK 09 Proves That The Chinese Dragon Has Woken Up To Contemporary Art

Contemporary Chinese artists Jian'an Shi's pieces were some of the highlights of the HK 09 Art Festival

Contemporary Chinese artist Jian'an Shi's pieces were some of the highlights of the HK 09 Art Festival

Joyce Lau writes today in the New York Times that the HK 09 International Art Festival, which took place over the weekend, illustrated better than most art fairs the vibrant arts culture that exists in Hong Kong. The fair, writes Lau, indicates what many Hong Kong watchers have always known, that the city is a magnet for the arts, luxury goods, business, media, and cuisine. With this unique mix of cultures both traditional and transitional, Hong Kong is vying to be the 21st century equivalent of Tokyo in the 1960s or New York or London before that.

For all attendees, the HK 09 Festival illustrated what Lau calls the city’s “quest to become a global hub for luxury goods.” With its proximity to the Mainland, and the increasing ease of travel for Mainland Chinese to Hong Kong (along with the perennial ease for their Hong Kong counterparts), the blending of Hong Kong’s kinetic cultural melting pot with the Mainland’s ever-changing spirit makes this region a must-see for anyone interested in Asia’s unique, exciting energy.

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