The Macau Metro Monitor, August 10, 2012
SANDS CHINA DEALS SCRUTINIZED WSJ
A planned Adelson Center for U.S.-China Enterprise in Beijing is now under scrutiny by the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the company's audit committee for possible violations of antibribery laws, according to company documents and people familiar with the inquiries. The probes go beyond the allegations in the FCPA suit, which is pending.
The Adelson Center was an attempt to network with influential business groups and included agreements to cooperate and promote trade with organizations such as the Chinese government's trade body, chaired by Wan Jifei, the son of China's former vice premier. The Adelson Center was part of a plan announced in 2005 for LVS to invest more than $1 billion in an ambitious new non-gambling convention center, hotel, and retail complex near Macau on the southern Chinese island of Hengqin.
The Chinese government and company investigations are looking into at least three transactions in mainland China unrelated to the company's Macau casino properties. Those transactions involve: a $50 million payment for real estate for the Adelson Center, Sands's sponsorship of a Chinese basketball team, and a contract for ferry service between Macau and Hong Kong.
A former Macau controller for Sands is assisting the FBI in its probe of the deals. Preliminary results of the board's audit committee probe, led by an outside law firm, were presented last week to Nevada gambling regulators, who are conducting their own inquiry.
SANDS' PARCEL THREE TO GET EIFFEL TOWER REPLICA: REPORT Macau Business
According to Business Daily, Sands China is proposing to build an Eiffel Tower replica in its parcel three site, in Cotai; it will be the centerpiece of the project, to be located besides the Four Seasons hotel.
SJM TO REMOVE 40 TABLES FROM GREEK MYTHOLOGY Macau Business
SJM Holdings will relocate 40 live gaming tables from its satellite casino Greek Mythology to other properties under the group’s portfolio. SJM's CEO Ambrose So Shu Fai said the recent row between the New Century hotel shareholders, where Greek Mythology is located, is “an internal issue”, but he admitted it has affected business volumes in the casino. “So they will now give us back 40 [gaming] tables, as well as 200 employees,” Mr So said, quoted by Business Daily. The table relocation is to be completed by September.
SINGAPORE'S ECONOMY CONTRACT 0.7% ON-QUARTER IN Q2 Channel News Asia, Bloomberg
Singapore's economy contracted by 0.7% QoQ in 2Q 2012, a reversal from Q1's growth of 9.5%. That compares with a July preliminary estimate of a 1.1% contraction in a Bloomberg News survey of 11 economists. On a year-on-year basis, the economy expanded by 2.0%, compared to 1.5% in the preceding quarter. The Ministry of Trade and Industry says it will narrow the GDP growth forecast for 2012 from 1-3% to 1.5% to 2.5%. Singapore's growth outlook remains cautious in 2H 2012. MTI says it expects global economic conditions to remain subdued, as consumer spending in advanced countries will be dampened by weak labour market conditions.
CHINA JULY NEW BANK LOANS OF 540.1 BLN YUAN BELOW FORECAST Reuters
Chinese banks extended 540.1 billion yuan of new local-currency loans in July, well below market expectations for 690 billion yuan.