PBL and Melco NASDAQ listing

Australia’s Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd and Hong Kong’s Melco International Ltd plan to raise as much as $1.1 billion from selling new shares after it filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission with the hope of being listed on the Nasdaq global market.

The sale of the new shares will fund its casino license purchase and hotel construction costs for its two new casinos in Macau, with shares estimated to be sold for around $17 each, which could raise as much a $954 million.

It was also revealed on Friday that the venture is looking at locations for 2 more casino/resort complexes in Macau.

Melco PBL’s Crown Macau complex has run into spiralling costs through changes and improvements, but it is expected to be completed by mid-2007. The complex, which will cost around $512.6 million, will have 220 gaming tables and will be aimed at high-rollers.

Work has also started on the $2.1 billion City of Dreams project, which will target the mass-gambling market. The casino will have 2000 rooms and 450 tables, and is expected to be completed by late 2008.

In addition to the two current projects, Melco PBL announced to the Hong Kong stock exchange that they expect to open a casino at the retail and entertainment complex at Macau Studio City in 2009.

Macau’s popularity has soared recently, outstripping Las Vegas as the world’s number one gambling venue, with competition for gambling licences increasing. However, the government in Macau have confirmed that there is no guarantee that new licences will be granted after April 2009, advising that new licences may lead to market saturation. At present, there are six official licence holders and 23 casinos already in operation in Macau.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2006-12-04 11:41:28

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