R&F Korea (RFKR) will sell some plots of land earmarked for residential apartments in Midan city, Incheon, South Korea, as it will increase its investment in a casino resort project it is developing there. The pledge for further investment was part of a deal to postpone the first-phase opening of the project to March 2023.
The RFKR Resort (pictured in a file photo), a complex due to have a foreigner-only casino, had its first-phase opening delayed to March 17, 2023. As part of the deal, the developer will have to invest a further KRW47 billion (US$38.4 million) in the project, an official at the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism confirmed on Monday to GGRAsia.
The official said RFKR would fund the additional investment by disposing of some land that was to be used to build residential apartments in Midan city.
According to the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZA), the public body overseeing the site where the casino project is being developed, a developer could be given extra time to complete its scheme, if it commits to spending 5 percent more than the capital target they had originally announced. RFKR’s had originally announced a project cost of US$800 million.
The RFKR Resort had been granted in March 2021 a one-year postponement to “March 2022” on its first-phase opening, with the conditions of increasing its investment, and the need to find a partner with experience in casino operations. As of March this year, the company was yet to announce a gaming operator partner, the ministry official confirmed to GGRAsia.
The official said additionally that RFKR had in January requested a two-year postponement, but the ministry only granted a 12-month extension. “If RFKR fails to fulfil the conditions in a year time, we could not consider any further postponement,” the person added.
According to the ministry, construction of the RFKR Resort has been suspended since February 2020.
RFKR is a company linked to Hong Kong-listed Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd. The parent company has been facing liquidity challenges as a large amount of the group’s short-term debt is maturing in 2022.
Guangzhou R&F has planned a number of asset sales to meet some of its upcoming maturities. Despite the efforts, Fitch Ratings Inc said recently that it expected Guangzhou R&F’s “access to funding could remain limited.”
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