MANILA, Philippines -- SM Investments Corp., the country?s second-largest conglomerate by market value, said on Thursday it would participate in a $1-billion casino project in Manila.
SM Investments made the disclosure to the Manila stock exchange but did not give other details about its participation in the project. The company has interests in shopping mall, banking and property development businesses.
The 40-hectare Bagong Nayong Pilipino-Manila Bay Integrated tourism project consists of a casino, hotels, shopping malls and other entertainment facilities.
Another local conglomerate, property and food company Alliance Global Group Inc., said in a separate statement it had bought 2.4 billion shares in a Philippine gaming company, Travellers International Hotel Group Inc., for P2.38 billion ($57.2 million). Travellers has a pending application to participate in the PAGCOR-led project.
"PAGCOR has recently confirmed that Travellers is qualified to participate in the project," Alliance Global said.
Alliance Global, which holds the business interests of local tycoon Andrew Tan, has a controlling stake in Megaworld Corp., the Philippines' second-biggest property developer by market value.
Alliance also has a substantial stake in the local franchise holder of the McDonald's food chain and owns brandy maker Emperador Distillers Inc.
On Wednesday, Malaysian cruise liner Star Cruises said it would invest $335 million in the casino project in Manila by buying a 50-percent stake in Travellers.
The deal between Star Cruises and Alliance will be conditional on the license being issued.
Star Cruises is listed in Singapore and Hong Kong. It is a unit of Malaysian gaming company Resorts World Bhd. Star Cruises has also invested in a casino and hotel project in Macau.
At 10:22 a.m. (0222 GMT), Alliance shares were up 8.8 percent at P4.35.
SM Investments rose 0.9 percent to P285.00 following a brief trading suspension ahead of its announcement regarding its participation in the casino project. (By Enrico dela Cruz)
($1 = P41.50)