Manila Bay casino developer seeks P25-B loan from China Bank
MANILA -The developer of the Westside City integrated casino is seeking a P25-billion loan to bankroll the completion of the gaming project in the Entertainment City complex along Manila Bay.
Suntrust Resort Holdings Inc., owned by Hong Kong-listed LET Group Holdings (formerly Suncity Group Holdings), said in a Philippine Stock Exchange filing its board had approved plans to negotiate the loan deal with Sy-led China Banking Corp.
The approval covers the execution of an omnibus loan and security agreement with the bank.
Moreover, Suntrust chair Lo Kai Bong and president Chua Ming Huat were designated as authorized signatories for the deal.
Suntrust, which is partly owned by billionaire Andrew Tan’s Megaworld Corp., earlier announced a target to open the Westside City casino in 2024. The project will be the fourth gaming complex in Entertainment City after Solaire Resort & Casino, City of Dreams Manila and Okada Manila.
The now defunct Suncity Group was previously led by “junket king” Alvin Chau, who was arrested in 2021 and sentenced by a Macau court last Jan. 18 to 18 years in prison for illegal gambling operations.
Earlier this year, Suntrust said it was in talks with creditors to restructure debts after it failed to make interest payments on the P5.6-billion bonds issued to affiliate Summit Ascent Investments Ltd. last December 30, 2020.
The debt paper has a coupon rate of 6 percent per annum and can be converted to 3.11 billion shares at a price of P1.80 each. The shares are equivalent to about 30 percent of Suntrust.
LET Group told shareholders last August it was committed to “long-term investment in the Philippines” through the Westside City casino project.