Navigate this market better. Subscribe for FREE stock alerts and information.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Genting stakes Singapore gamblers to $775 million in push for VIPs, (NYSE: LVS)

Singapore's two multi-billion-dollar casinos bear evidence of China's economic recovery: high rollers returned in force last quarter to the resorts run by Genting Singapore Plc and Las Vegas Sands Corp. The revival in the lucrative VIP segment reversed a pattern that analysts had observed in recent quarters, where whenever one company saw a rise in VIP business, the other usually reported a slowdown, suggesting that the two casinos were fighting over a limited pool of punters. But over the last three months of 2012, both Sands and Genting reported strong year-on-year growth in that segment.Genting's results, released late on Thursday, showed a 56 percent jump in its premium segment. Sands, whose earnings were released on Jan. 30, posted a 53 percent increase in what it calls rolling chip, a gauge of gambling activity in high-stakes VIP rooms.The jump in the high rollers business was accompanied by a sharp rise in credit to gamblers - for Genting, receivables were up 33 percent from a year earlier to S$960 million ($775.69 million) - which some analysts cited as cause for concern because it could lead to an increase in bad debts."It is a chicken-and-egg thing. So, the more you gamble, the more credit I'm willing to extend to you," said Carey Wong, an analyst at OCBC. "It is a self-fulfilling thing."

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVSC) is a global developer of destination properties (integrated resorts) that feature accommodations, gaming, entertainment and retail, convention and exhibition facilities, celebrity chef restaurants and other amenities. Shares of LVS traded higher by 3.32% or $1.63/share to $50.73. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $34.72 and as high as $62.09. On average, 7660460 shares of LVS exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 10222155.