Resorts World Gets Its First 2 Junket Operators
Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) has issued its first junket-operator licenses to two agents as the authority hands Resorts World Sentosa, an avenue to expand its lucrative premium-player business. CRA noted that while it has approved the first batch of junket operators, it had already rejected 12 previous applications, signaling its stringent stance. The new junket operators will be permitted to bring high-spending overseas gamblers to Genting Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa casino in exchange for commissions, and will also be allowed to issue credit to these premium players. A spokesperson from Resorts World Singapore said that the casino resort was “delighted” with the successful issuance of the junket licenses to two operators. The spokesperson said the addition of the junket business for the overseas VIP market will bring a progressive new source of high net-worth play into its gaming environment. The other casino in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, operated by Las Vegas Sands, currently does not have access to licensed junkets.
Significance: Junket operators could help drive business volumes in the casino operations of Genting Singapore. Being the first casino to have access to such operators, Genting Singapore could also enjoy first-mover advantages. However, it must be noted that junket operations will cut into the operator’s margins.
Fragrance Partners Aspial To Purchase Tai Keng Court
Fragrance Group has partnered with Aspial Corporation to submit a joint bid for Tai Keng Court. The two companies incorporated a special purpose company, Kensington Village, to submit a tender bid at a purchase price of $161.1 million. The vendors of the property in question had accepted the tender bid on 22 March 2012. The freehold tenured property sits on a land area of 9,643.2 square metres. There is also an option to purchase an adjoining site with an approximate land area of 463.4 square metres. The combined site would have a land area of 10,106.6 square metres, with a plot ratio of 1.4 and can potentially yield a gross floor area of approximately 152,302 square feet. The sites are zoned for commercial and residential use and both companies intend to redevelop the sites subject to obtaining approval from relevant authorities.
Significance: This recent joint acquisition by both firms represents another collaboration after both companies won the tender for a site at Woodlands with a top bid of $151.5 million in June last year.
Hyflux To Develop Asia’s Largest Desalination Plant With Japanese Partners
Hyflux, together with its Japanese partners, Hitachi and Itochu, have signed a co-developer agreement for the development of a seawater desalination plant. The desalination plant will have a designed capacity of 336,000 cubic metres per day and will be located in the Dahej Special Economic Zone in Gujarat, India. Hyflux will design, build, own and operate the estimated US$600 million facility for 30 years, while its partners will handle different aspects of the project. Commencement of the project will however be subject to the execution of a water purchase agreement and financial close which will take about three years to complete.
Significance: The new project will be Hyflux’s most significant project in India to date. Ever since breaking into the India market in 2006, Hyflux’s Indian operations have only contributed a less than significant percentage of total sales. Hence, it is noted that the project will help diversify Hyflux’s geographical markets.