The Macau Metro Monitor, November 19, 2012
SINGAPORE HOTELS FEEL THE SQUEEZE AS CORPORATE BUDGETS TIGHTEN Reuters
The best may be over for Singapore's booming hotel market as tightening corporate budgets and bank job cuts leave more luxury rooms empty. "We will see a slight drop in occupancy rate (in Singapore) mainly due to new supply that is about to come on board in 2013," said Jonas Ogren, Asia director at hotel data provider STR Global, based in Singapore. According to CBRE, the supply of four- and five-star hotel rooms in Singapore is expected to increase by 17.4% from 2011 to 2014.
The city-state's high-end hotels have been hit harder than moderately priced rooms, which suggests that weaker corporate travel rather than tourism is weighing on demand.
JAI ALAI TO UNDERGO REVAMP Macau Business
SJM said it has reached an agreement to continue leasing the Jai Alai Palace complex, where it operates a self-promoted casino, owned by Angela Leong On Kei. The gaming operator now plans to revamp the run-down property.
The new contract, which has a duration of three years, starts on January 2014. SJM Holdings will pay monthly rental of MOP10.3 million (US$.1.3 million) for the property. CEO Ambrose So said that the redevelopment project would cost up to MOP700 million. He added the project would start “soon” and be completed in 2013.
SJM EXPECTS COTAI PROJECT TO COST OVER MOP20B Macau Daily Times
SJM Cotai is set to have as high as 70% non-gaming business. SJM said it’s planning to have 700 gaming tables in Cotai but CEO Ambrose So stressed that the number is what the company initially applied for, but the government is yet to give an answer on the precise figure.
US INVESTIGATING OKADA'S PHILIPPINES PAYMENT Macau Business
U.S. gaming regulators are looking at a payment made by a subsidiary of Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment Corp to a former consultant for the Philippine gaming authority, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor). An investigative report from Reuters says a Universal subsidiary made a US$5 million (MOP40 million) payment in May 2010 to a firm wholly-owned by Rodolfo Soriano, a close associate of Efraim Genuino, who headed Pagcor at the time of the events.
Universal has already filed a suit against an ex-employee saying he acted without proper authorization in channelling the US$5 million to Mr Soriano. The payment is part of US$40 million in transfers by Universal that are being looked at by the U.S. regulators.