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China – Macau Legend seals Hengqin expansion plan with US$10.8m investment

By - 17 April 2019

Macau Legend Development has bought a 21.5 per cent share in Lai Ieng Investment Company Limited, the developer behind the Ponto shopping complex in Hengqin for HK$84.5m (US$10.8m).

This ‘first large-scale shopping complex in Hengqin’ will offer over 300 shops including shopping, dining and entertaining experiences.

Macau Legend already owns Macau’s Fisherman’s Wharf complex, including the Legend Palace, as well as Savan Legend in Laos. It is also building a €250m integrated casino in Cape Verde, due to open in 2019.

Co-Chairman, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Macau Legend, Mr. David Chow, said: “The group has now finalised the acquisition of a minority interest in a shopping complex at a strategic location in Hengqin, adjacent to the crossing to Cotai. We believe that such investment will create synergy with our existing business in Macau. There is optimism that the uncertainties resulted from global trade disputes will be relieved in the coming months, and with more visitations expected from the opening of the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau bridge, there are positive expectations for the overall tourism growth for Macau,” said Mr. Chow.

The State Council of the People’s Republic of China recently approved plans to transform Hengqin Island into an ‘international recreation zone.’

The state council said: “Construction of the island will be centered around the Greater Bay Area’s development, with efforts to speed up the creation of a modern industrial system focusing on recreation and tourism, and to deepen the cooperation between South China’s Guangdong province, Hong Kong, and Macau. It also will bolster Macau’s economy.”

Sanford Bernstein said: “We foresee even greater development materialising as part of China’s Greater Bay development initiative. Currently, Hong Kong property developers Shun Tak Holdings Ltd and the Lai Sun Group and Chimelong Group Co Ltd [a major Chinese theme park operator], among others, all have development projects in Hengqin. Galaxy has rights to a large swath of land on the southwestern corner of Hengqin to be developed as a non-gaming resort in the future. Future non-gaming expansion in Hengqin will provide more hotel capacity for Macau.”

For the year ended 31 December 2018, Macau Legend Development recorded revenue of HK$1,865 million, an increase of two per cent or HK$29m over the last year. Gaming revenue increased by 12 per cent.

Mr. Chow added: “We will prudently and proactively seek expansions of business within and outside Macau and will phase each of our new projects to better manage risk and liquidity. In Macau, we will seek improvements and upgrades to our operations at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf by introducing a virtual reality experience centre, a wax museum and new dining facilities in the second half of this year. The convention and exhibition centre will also be upgraded.

“Together with the continued improvement of existing offers, the new additions will further reposition Macau Fisherman’s Wharf as a prime tourist attraction on the Macau Peninsula,” he said. “Overseas in Laos, Savan Legend Resorts is further improving its hotel, gaming and nongaming facilities. In Cape Verde, we have completed the superstructure work of the office building.”

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