The Macau Metro Monitor, February 25th, 2010
SANDS BETS ON SINGAPORE, DEBT REFINANCE The Malaysian Insider
According to Michael Leven, LVS's COO, LVS would like to renegotiate its $5 billion US debt by the end of this year. At the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit in New York on Wednesday, Levin commented on LVS's bet on the success of its Singapore casino resort to help it pay down debt. Although LVS has over $5 billion in cash, above the $3 billion threshold required of its debt covenants, Leven warned that underperformance in Singapore, specifically a less than $400 million in EBITDA by the end of the year, would create problems for its covenants.
He said the company's 130 US lenders will likely seek a paydown of $1 billion or so as well as a higher interest rate and fees. The company carries about $11 billion in total debt – $5 billion by the US group, around $3.6 billion in Singapore and $2.7 billion or so in Macau, he said.
Levin agrees with the Chinese government's 10-12% target annual growth rate in Macau casino revenues as a way to sustain growth and prevent a bubble-like environment. In addition, Levin does not expect tighter monetary policy in China to significantly impact Macau operations, noting their Macau customers' preference for using cash rather than credit to gamble.
Sands expects to begin selling condominiums at its Macau Four Seasons property through a co-op structure – which will bring in north of $1 billion, Leven said. Once the Singapore resort is fully up and running, Macau will drop from 70% to 50% of Sands' earnings.
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The number of visitors to Macau in January 2010 totaled 2.05 million – up 6.8% YOY. Chinese mainland visitors rose 18.9%
to 1.13 million - with 447,681 traveling to Macau under the Individual Visit Scheme, down by 21.7% YOY.