Mar 28, 2022 Newsdesk Latest News, Philippines, Top of the deck
The opening of a five-star hotel and casino complex at the Westside City Project (pictured in an artist’s rendering) in Manila, the Philippine capital, remains scheduled for 2024, says Suntrust Home Developers Inc, the property’s promoter.
“As of December 31, 2021, the construction work of pile cap has been completed while the construction works of the basement and ground floor of the … hotel casino have been substantially completed,” said Manila-listed Suntrust Home Developers in its annual report, filed on Friday to the Philippine exchange.
Management aims to “commence operations in 2024”, it added.
Suntrust Home Developers is 51-percent indirectly owned by Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed firm that – until his resignation in early December – had been chaired by Macau casino junket boss Alvin Chau Cheok Wa.
In November, Mr Chau was detained in Macau on suspicion of facilitating illegal gambling overseas for Chinese customers. All of his junket brand’s VIP rooms in Macau were closed on December 1, 2021.
Mr Chau and a unit of his junket business also have been declared “unsuitable to hold any authority/licence to operate a junket business in the Philippines”. That is according to a report by a committee of the country’s casino regulator, released on Wednesday, as reported by GGRAsia.
Suntrust Home Developers had already stated in a December filing that Mr Chau’s detention in Macau was “not expected to have a material impact on the timeline of the construction” of the Westside City hotel and casino.
Suntrust Home Developers said in its annual report that it did “not anticipate having any cash flow or liquidity problems”.
As of end-2021, the firm had cash and cash equivalents of approximately PHP6.15 billion (US$117.7 million), and commitments of approximately PHP23.38 billion for the construction of the the Westside City hotel and casino.
In August last year, the firm had said the casino at Westside City was scheduled to start operating in the year 2023. But in November, Suntrust Home Developers announced it had agreed with the firm doing the construction to push back the completion date of the complex “to no later than March 31, 2024″.
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Head of Asia gaming and leisure research at JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific)