The first phase of a multibillion-U.S.-dollar casino resort complex (pictured in artist’s rendering) on Vietnam’s central coast – a project partly backed by Suncity Group Holdings Ltd – is expected to be ready and launched by the end of this year. So said Andrew Lo Kai Bong, an executive director of the Hong Kong-listed entity, in comments to GGRAsia.
The listed firm is chaired by veteran junket investor Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, who also leads the privately-held Macau junket firm Suncity Group.
As part of the first phase of the Hoiana gaming resort in Vietnam, two towers – hosting what is referred to by the promoters as condominium-hotel space – will provide a total of 270 units. These facilities are to be branded as “Hoiana Residence” and will be sold Hong Kong-style, off-plan – i.e., before actual completion of construction- from January 7 to 9, according to a recent release published by junket firm Suncity Group.
Speaking to GGRAsia, Mr Lo explained that the sale would be mainly targeted at “overseas buyers”, especially those with ties to the gaming sector.
The potential purchasers included Suncity Group clients, “and some junket entities from Macau”.
He added: “This kind of deal usually allows you [the promoter] to gain a one-off income, but more importantly when we sell the units to people from the sector, it helps promotes the business with our existing clients and partners.” He did not specify how much the group was seeking to generate from the real estate sale.
The multi-phase Hoiana scheme, located at Hoi An in Vietnam, is a venture by Hoi An South Development Ltd. The Vietnamese asset manager VinaCapital Group and a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd have also been linked to the scheme. The listed Suncity Group Holdings had completed in August 2018 an acquisition that gave it a 34-percent stake in the Hoiana scheme.
The capital expenditure of the first phase of the casino resort scheme has also increased to approximately US$900 million from the originally-flagged US$650 million, as more facilities and rooms are being built, according to Mr Lo.
By the time of the expected launch of the first phase by year-end 2019, the available facilities would include a golf course, the Hoiana Residence condominium-hotel space, and a hotel by Hong Kong property developer New World Development Company Ltd, Mr Lo told us. A total of three hotels planned for the first phase will bring online a total guest room inventory to more than 800 units, in addition to the two towers of the Hoiana Residence that are said to provide 270 units.
Rosewood Hotel Group – a unit of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises – is a partner in the casino resort scheme. One of the group’s hotel brands will be featured in phase one. There will also be a “Hoiana” branded hotel, Mr Lo added.
Hoiana’s developers would move on with the construction of phase two of the casino resort scheme “later this year”, Mr Lo told us. According to a recent announcement from Suncity Group, phase two of Hoiana would add villas, hotel rooms, shops and some entertainment facilities.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters