Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd has announced that it has asked to list new senior notes on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company expects the bonds to be listed today (February 4).
Sands China – operator of the Venetian Macao (pictured) – told the exchange on Friday that it intended to list about US$1.69 billion in notes at a 4.6-percent coupon rate, due in 2023; about US$1.79 billion of 5.125-percent senior notes due in 2025; and more than US$1.89 billion of 5.4-percent coupon bonds due in 2028.
Sands China set the pricing of the bonds last August after first announcing the issue on July 26. The company says it intends to use the net proceeds of about US$5.46 billion to repay loans under its existing credit facility and for general corporate purposes, including on capital projects.
The stockbroker Morningstar issued on January 24 a note saying the weak price of shares in Sands China makes them a good entry point for long-term investors in Macau casino operators. The note suggested the company would experience the greatest disruption to its earnings this year.
Total net revenues for Sands China – on a U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis – increased 9 percent to US$2.25 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to US$2.06 billion in the prior-year period. Net income for the firm however declined 11 percent to US$465 million in the last quarter of 2018, compared to US$519 million a year earlier.
Full-year 2018 net income for Sands China increased 19 percent to US$1.90 billion in 2018, compared to US$1.60 billion in the previous year.
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"The Macau recovery continues to be disrupted by false starts, while the lack of [Chinese] public holidays for rest of the year should cap the pace of the rebound”
Andrew Lee and David Katz
Analysts at brokerage Jefferies LLC