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Belle Corp. in Talks with Melco Crown over Gaming Operation

Over the past five years Macau’s gaming infrastructure has grown incredibly quickly. However, after the Las Vegas Sands’ Sans Cotai Central opens there won’t be much development for the next few years. The government is unlikely to approve many more resorts and there is also a physical limitation on space.

As Belle prepares to open a new resort in the Philippines they are holding talks with Melco Crown over the running of their gaming operation.

As a result gaming operators are looking to other locations for further expansion. The Philippines is trying to build their version of the Las Vegas Strip and recently developer Belle Corp. was one of four organisations granted a gaming license there. As Belle doesn’t have much gaming experience they are currently holding talks with Melco Crown who may be brought in to help with the gaming operation.

Not many more details on the talks are currently available, Willy Ocier, Vice Chairman of Belle, confirmed that talks were taking place but nothing more. Belle’s parent company SM Investments Corp said the same and Melco Crown declined to comment.

Belle has almost completed construction of the resort however, completion of the interior has been put on hold as deal negotiations drag on. Melco is frequently overlooked among its bigger rivals but they are quickly becoming a great buy in gaming. The company has options for growth and their current operations come at a good price. With the construction nearly complete and the company not carrying much debt they are looking to be in a very strong position once all negotiations are complete.

Melco Crown run two casino resorts in Macau and has a 60% equity interest in a third project which is still under development.  They will bring invaluable experience to Bello Corp. and are sure to do an excellent job at running the gaming operation. It definitely looks as though Belle have chosen the right path as they attempt to make their mark in the Philippine market.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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