Oct 13, 2012

Vietnam - VinaCapital’s new partner unveiled

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VinaCapital has found a new partner to replace Genting Malaysia Berhad to roll the dice for its $4 billion casino resort project in Quang Nam province.

Do Xuan Dien, deputy director of Chu Lai Economic Zone Management Authority said VinaCapital and the new partner will work on the transfer of Genting’s 20 per cent stake in the project. But Dien declined to reveal the name of VinaCapital’s new partner.

VinaCapital also declined to confirm the news when contacted by VIR. On September 14, 2012, Genting Malaysia Berhad, one of Asia’s largest resort developers, announced the cessation of its collaboration in Vietnam without any official explanation.

The company and VinaCapital in December, 2010 secured an investment certificate for the $4 billion integrated resort, covering 1,555 hectares in Chu Lai Economic Zone, with around 100ha having been cleared. Yet construction has not been started.

Dien said Genting’s decisionmight stem from concerns over the Vietnamese government’s policy on banning Vietnamese from entering gambling facilities.

However, several other large casino project investors still pursue their investment plans in Vietnam. Canada’s Asian Coast Development Limited is constructing the $4.2 billion Ho Tram Strip project in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. The project’s first resort MGM Grand Ho Tram Beach is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2013, embracing two hotels, a 5,800 square metre gambling entertainment area with 90 live table games and 500 electronic gambling machines.

Pinnacle Entertainment, a Las Vegas-based integrated resort developer and manager, last year acquired 26 per cent of ACDL to develop the second integrated resort nearby the MGM Grand Ho Tram.

Las Vegas Sands Corporation is discussing with the Vietnamese government about its plan to build integrated resorts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Since 1992, Vietnam has licenced 50 gaming facilities nationwide, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Ngoc Linh | vir.com.vn

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