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Suncity Buys Majority Stake in Manila

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Suncity Group

Hong Kong’s Suncity Group Holdings has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in a Philippines company, with which it will co-develop and then operate a five-star hotel and casino in Manila.

In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Suncity Group said it would acquire about 51% of issued shares via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fortune Noble. The acquisition is still subject to regulatory checks.

The project will be jointly managed by the Philippines’ Suntrust Home Developers Inc and its new owner Suncity Group. It will be located at Westside City Resorts World, the fourth integrated resort being developed in Entertainment City, the casino hub of Manila.

According to a separate statement cited by Reuters, Suntrust said that the property would include a casino and a hotel with at least 400 rooms, and about 400 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines for mass-market and VIP gamblers.

The deal marks the Hong Kong-based entertainment group’s first foray into gaming in the Philippine capital, where foreign firms such as Lawrence Ho’s Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Bloomberry Resorts, and Universal Entertainment Corporation, formerly run by Japan’s Kazuo Okada, are already present via their subsidiaries or joint ventures.

Suncity Group Holdings is controlled by Alvin Chau, who is also the owner of Macau junket operator Suncity Group.

The company has been expanding its footprint in the hotel and casino business in Southeast Asia in recent years. It has also signaled an interest in bidding for a Macau gaming license should the opportunity arise after the existing concessions expire in June 2022.

Andrew Lo, executive director at Suncity, told Reuters that that Manila was “the most decent city for gaming” outside of Macau because of the presence of international brands and airport facilities. The Philippine capital is home to three international airports, with a fourth domestic base currently under construction.

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