CapitaLand eyeing more leisure, entertainment projects in the region

One day after announcing it has taken a 20 percent stake in a Macau casino project, CapitaLand says it is exploring further opportunities in the leisure and entertainment sector.

The Singapore developer is eyeing projects in China, India, Japan and Vietnam and may set up a real estate investment trust based on these projects.

The comment came from President and CEO Liew Mun Leong during Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for CapitaLand’s first investment in Macau.

CapitaLand was quick to point out that while it may be exploring other leisure and entertainment projects overseas, it is basically leveraging on its expertise in building and running its other existing developments.

The developer noted that Macao Studio City is being developed by a consortium, of which CapitaLand is a member.

The company paid S$132 million for a 20 percent stake in the project.

Dubbed Asia’s first leisure resort property, the complex will house theatre, television and film production facilities and gaming, entertainment and world-class hotels.

Construction of the first phase of Macao Studio City begins this month and will be completed by 2009.

While it marks a key move by CapitaLand into the gaming sector – the company was quick to point to its roots.

Mr Liew said, “The project we’re doing in Macau is still essentially a real estate project. We’re still developing retail, still developing and building hotels and hospitality as well as commercial enterprises. It’s part of our major development programme overseas.”

The first phase of Macao Studio City comprises 3.7 million square feet of gross floor area offering over 2,000 hotel rooms.

The new six-star boutique hotel concept will be created by David Tang, founder of Shanghai Tang, and include gaming halls with 400 tables and 1,000 slot machines.

CapitaLand is bullish on China – and it expects its revenue from China to rise to about 25 percent by 2008 – up from about 20 percent currently.

The other investors in the Macau project include media company eSun Holdings and mall owners Taubman Centers.

A consortium called New Cotai LLC, which includes members who helped Macau Sands to open its casino, will be managing the gaming licence.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 10 January 2007 

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