Las Vegas Sands Casino operator shares up 3.5 percent

Fri, 21 Aug 2009 10:59
Casino operator Las Vegas Sands said on Thursday it filed an application for a possible listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, sending its shares up 3.5 percent. The company told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that no decisions have been made regarding the timing or terms of an offering or whether the subsidiary will ultimately proceed with the transaction. J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff said an initial public offering is likely at the end of November or early December, and could allow Sands to raise $1 billion to $2 billion through the sale of a minority stake in its Macau operations. (Las Vegas Sands operates two casinos in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau, the Palazzo and Venetian resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and a casino in Pennsylvania). The combination of a global recession and collapsing credit markets brought Sands perilously close to defaulting on its debt, but the agreement with Macau lenders clears the way for raising new capital. (Shares of Las Vegas Sands were up 44 cents to $13.19 in afternoon trading, while Wynn gained 42 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $55.27). Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal - it is now the world's biggest gambling market and a source of industry hopes for further growth.