Manila hotel casino priced at US$1bln: Suncity listco

Manila hotel casino priced at US$1bln: Suncity listco

The total “construction and development” cost for the “main hotel casino at the Westside City Project (pictured in an artist’s rendering), located in Manila’s Entertainment City, will be approximately US$1 billion, in order for it to “commence operation” in 2023, said Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, the hotel casino’s backer, in a Wednesday filing to the Hong Kong bourse.

In the filing, the firm – which is led by Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, the boss of the privately-held Macau junket brand Suncity Group – said it had paid last year US$220 million for the construction and development costs for the Manila casino resort scheme. For financial year ending December 31, 2021, the listed entity is considering raising a further US$280 million via “debt and/or equity financings” to support the project.

The Hong Kong-listed entity has flagged another US$500-million tally, likely to be payable by the group during financial-years 2022 and 2023 for the construction and development costs for the project. Routes for finding the money might include “equity fund raising”, “loan financing from banks, financial institutions or other parties”, or “debt financing or the like”, Suncity Group Holdings noted in the Wednesday filing.

The construction and development cost projected for the Westside City scheme could be subject to change, depending on design and other factors; particularly “the impact of Covid-19” on the Manila scheme’s progress, the filing noted.

Suncity Group Holdings announced in November that Philippine-listed Megawide Construction Corp had been awarded two contracts worth in aggregate nearly PHP6.3-billion (US$130.5-million) for the construction work of the “main hotel casino” at the Manila resort scheme. The “letter of award” was issued by Suntrust Home Developers Inc, a company controlled by Suncity Group Holdings that handles the development of the Westside City scheme.

Wednesday’s filing by Suncity Group Holdings gave details on extra costs Suntrust was paying Megawide for some additional building work the latter was assigned to do for the Westside City hotel casino.

For the additional building work assigned to Megawide, the revised contracts payable by Suntrust should worth in aggregate nearly PHP26.3billion (about US$547 million), i.e., four times the amount previously mentioned, according to the Wednesday filing. The bill would be paid for from funds to be raised by Suntrust, Suncity Group Holdings noted in the filing.

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