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A Galaxy no longer far away

Banks are lending again to Macau casinos

If you’re looking for signs of a recovery in risk appetite then look no further than Macau. This week property tycoon Lui Che Woo announced that he’d secured HK$8.8 billion in bank loans to finance his 2,200 room casino complex on the city’s Cotai Strip. His firm, Galaxy, is riding a new wave of optimism about the gambling enclave’s prospects – where gaming revenues at casinos rose 57.2% in the first quarter. It’s also a sign of resurgent debt market – it’s the first Macanese casino funding since February 2008, reports the South China Morning Post. “This is the first such large-scale loan since the financial tsunami,” comments Shen Xiaoqi, the CEO of ICBC (Macau), which is leading Galaxy’s lending syndicate. With two other casino operators – Sands and Melco – also looking to borrow, loans to Macau’s gaming firms could hit a record $5 billion this year.


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