Las Vegas Sands’ shares tumble on debut

HONG KONG: Shares of Las Vegas Sands’ Macau unit tumbled on their debut in Hong Kong yesterday, but Chairman Sheldon Adelson dismissed the drop as a short-term slump.

DEBUTAN TUMBLE: An overview of the entrance to the Venetian resort in Macau. Shares of Las Vegas Sands’ Macau unit tumbled in their debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday, but chairman Sheldon Adelson dismissed the drop as a short-term slump. — AFP photo

DEBUTAN TUMBLE: An overview of the entrance to the Venetian resort in Macau. Shares of Las Vegas Sands’ Macau unit tumbled in their debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday, but chairman Sheldon Adelson dismissed the drop as a short-term slump. — AFP photo

Adelson, 76, said Sands China remains committed to developing Macau’s Cotai Strip resort into a full-service gaming venue, despite concerns that the world economy has not recovered from last year’s credit crisis.

“There is no reason to think a little bump in the road is going to last,” Adelson told reporters in Hong Kong.

“It’s not going to last, it’s going to straighten out. We’re in it for decades.”

Sands shares fell 13.2 per cent to HK$9.01  (US$1.16 dollars) on the Hang Seng Index at midday after touching a low of 8.78. The shares opened yesterday at 10.38.

“The drop is mainly due to the valuation of the company — it’s too high,” Ernie Hon, a strategist at ICBC International in Hong Kong, told AFP.

Sands’ share price will likely be “under pressure for some time” because of its heavy debt, Hon added.

The Sands’ underwhelming first day follows several disappointing listings in Hong Kong recently, including those of China’s private lender Minsheng Banking and gaming group Wynn Macau.

Mainland Chinese, Hong Kong and overseas companies have rushed to list before year’s end amid signs of an economic recovery.

Rival Wynn Macau’s shares were trading at HK$9.73 yesterday morning, below their IPO price of HK$10.08.

Sands announced its listing plan after Wynn launched an IPO on Oct 9, as overseas casino operators seek to capitalise on a rebound in sentiment towards Macau’s gaming sector.

Sands raised HK$2.5 billion in its initial public offering earlier this month — less than the HK$3.4 billion executives had expected.

The share sale was Hong Kong’s second-biggest IPO this year.

Some of the sale proceeds and a HK$1.75 billion bank loan will be used to restart the company’s stalled Macau resort, after it was put on hold in November when the global crisis pounded the Asian gaming enclave. More than half the IPO proceeds are earmarked for paying down debt.

About 11,000 construction jobs were lost when the project halted, dealing a blow to the former Portuguese colony.

Macau, which was handed back to China in 1999, is the only Chinese city where casino gambling is allowed. It has now overtaken Las Vegas in terms of gaming revenue after opening the gaming sector to foreign competition in 2002.

Las Vegas Sands currently operates the Venetian, Sands and Four Seasons casino hotels in Macau. — AFP

What do you think of this story?
  • Angry (0%)
  • Sad (0%)
  • Nothing (0%)
  • Interesting (0%)
  • Great (0%)

 

Affiliates

 

Supplement Downloads

Member of