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Lim Kok Thay confident Genting will be picked for Japan casino

The Edge logo The Edge 19/4/2019 The Edge Financial Daily
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SINGAPORE: Genting Singapore Ltd chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay (pic) is confident of being picked to build a Singapore-style integrated resort in Japan, where Genting is bidding for all three casino licences the country is allowing, anticipating it will secure one.

“Fortunately for us, the Japanese government has made it very public that they will use the Singapore model.

“We have become the top tourist draw in Singapore and also contribute to employment and the local economy. I believe that is exactly what the Japanese government is looking for, whereas our other competitors bar one who is across the road wouldn’t be in the same position to claim they can do it,” Lim was quoted as saying by Singapore’s Straits Times yesterday. He was speaking to shareholders at the group’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Japan is expected to issue a request for proposals in the fourth quarter of this year, the report wrote.

If chosen, Genting expects to borrow in yen to fund its venture in Japan, chief operating officer Tan Hee Teck was quoted as telling shareholders, given “really, really low” interest rates in Japan. “[In 2017,] we did a samurai bond. Our interest was only 0.669% [per annum],” Tan said.

Tan was responding to shareholders who were concerned over how Genting planned to fund the Japan push given that it had just committed to investing S$4.5 billion (RM13.8 billion) to spruce up Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) over five years, a sum that is double what analysts had expected.

Genting, said Tan, would fund RWS 2.0 entirely from cash or term loans. The group’s cash pile stood at S$4.2 billion at end-2018. “We do not foresee that we will need to call upon shareholders,” Tan said.

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