THE M3: SANDS FOUR SEASONS APARTMENTS, GAMING TAX, MONEY-LAUNDERING

The Macau Metro Monitor, April 20th, 2010

SANDS APARTMENT SALES TO GO AHEAD macaubusiness.com

According to Steve Jacobs, Sands China is to go ahead with the sale of apartments in its Four Seasons complex in Cotai.

The company aims to obtain US$1.2-$1.4 billion (MOP9.6-11.2 billion) or more from the sales. ''Rest assured that we are acutely aware of the amount of value that can be unlocked through the sale of those apartments and it is the top of our agenda for 2010....'We believe there is ample interest from high net worth individuals from China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan.'' Jacobs said. 

Meanwhile, Sands China is ''actively engaged'' in looking for expansion opportunities in Asia. ''Japan remains incredibly attractive to us. We believe there'll be a tender sometime in the near future... 'We clearly have [Thailand] on our top-tier opportunities. But it's nothing that would be between now and this time next year.'' Jacobs said. 

On construction at sites 5 and 6 in Cotai, Jacobs revealed that between 2,000 and 4,000 workers recently resumed work.

The Sands China CEO said that the company postponed a contract signing ceremony with a contractor, which was scheduled for March 29, because ''we've got a series of announcements coming up, so it made more sense to bundle them all together.'' Once site 5 and 6 are operating, Jacobs expects Sands’ market share of Macau gaming revenues to increase to 30-35%. In March, the company had a market share of 19%, according to Lusa. Jacobs said the new properties can increase the non-gaming revenues for Sands China to 20-25% in two to three years, versus 12% now.


''As we move to develop sites five and six... it would be in the not-too-distant future that non-gaming would become the majority of our profitability,'' he said.

GAMING TAX REVENUE UP 60% macaubusiness.com

In 1Q2010, Macau registered a budget surplus of MOP 12.9BN (105% YoY), while direct taxes from gaming rose 60% to MOP14BN and represented 86% of the public finance revenue. The Government’s total revenue rose 54.9% to MOP16.39BN.

CASINOS LEAD MONEY-LAUNDERING REPORTS Macau Daily Times

Local casinos were a major source of reports of suspected money laundering received by the Financial Intelligence Office (GIF) between years 2007 and 2009, the chairman of the Macau Institute of Financial Services (IFS), Antonio Felix Pontes, announced yesterday. In the past three years, the GIF received a total of 2,719 suspicious transaction reports, of which 58.3% (1,584) were from casinos and 40.6% came from the banks (1,101).