Suntrust Home Developers Inc, a Philippine-listed entity investing in a casino hotel scheme in Manila that is part of the Westside City Project, has changed its primary purpose from real estate development to “tourism-related businesses”. It said so in a Friday filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
One of its key backers, Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, which currently owns 51 percent of Suntrust but is planning to up its stake, has also released artist’s renderings (example pictured) of how the Westside City Project might look.
Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, a Macau junket boss who also controls Suncity Group Holdings, was cited saying in a separate Friday press release that the redefining of Suntrust was part of Suncity Group Holdings “achieving one milestone after another’. He cited the firm’s investment in a Vietnam casino scheme called Hoiana, and its involvement in Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, a promoter of the Tigre de Cristal casino resort in the Russian Far East as examples of other milestones.
Friday’s press release also said the main casino hotel of the Westside City Project would have a total gross floor area of at least 182,000 square metres (about 1.96 million sq ft) and was “expected to be in operation in the fourth quarter 2022”.
Suncity Group Holdings also reiterated that the casino hotel portion of the scheme would have circa 400 gaming tables, about 1,200 slot machines, 400 five-star hotel rooms, 960 car park spaces, a pool club and a leisure club, among other attractions.
“The final product will be integrated with the shopping malls, theatres, restaurants, and shopping streets, etc. to be built by Westside City Resorts World Inc., which also includes 2,000 additional hotel rooms, a shopping mall, a Grand Opera House, restaurants and theatre district, and an additional… approximately 2,000 car park spaces,” added the announcement.
Suntrust had said the change in its primary purpose – that had been agreed in December by the company’s shareholders – was approved on Wednesday by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission.
Suntrust’s primary purpose has thus been changed from real estate development to tourism-related businesses, including but not limited to “acquiring, developing, improving and operating tourism-oriented facilities such as hotels, resorts, private clubs, leisure parks, entertainment centres, restaurants, food and beverage outlets, and other recreational facilities”.
The firm retains its current corporate name, as per Friday filings to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The company had already upped its authorised capital stock by more than 600 percent, to PHP23 billion (US$459.3 million) at par value of PHP1.00 per share, from PHP3 billion at par value PHP1.00 per share.
The group is issuing convertible bonds to investors in connection with the casino project that it is planning for the Entertainment City gaming area in Manila.
A major subscriber to Suntrust’s convertible bonds on the casino project is Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, controlled by Macau casino junket boss Alvin Chau Cheok Wa.
The Suncity entity is taking PHP7.3-billion worth of such bonds. The effect of the subscription is for Suncity Group Holdings to up its equity interest in Suntrust to 74.42 percent, from 51.0 percent.
Mr Chau said in a Suncity Group Holdings filing on June 11 he will “soon” oversee a ground-breaking ceremony for the casino project in the Entertainment City zone in the Philippine capital.
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