Chief Executive Officer of SJM Holdings Limited (880:Hong Kong) Dr. Shu Fai So, also known as Ambrose So, said on Wednesday that the company hopes to open its $3.86 billion Grand Lisboa Palace integrated resort in the Cotai area of Macau in 2018.
Radio Macau reports that the company’s CEO said that construction of the project, which the firm has previously only mentioned with a 2017 completion date, should be completed by the end of next year and that “We hope we can open it in 2018,” as reported by GGRAsia. In their coverage of the Macau gaming sector, investment analysts have echoed the 2018 projected opening date previously.
After SJM’s recent second quarter earnings release, the results of which were worse than expected, the company’s management told Japanese securities brokerage Daiwa Securities Group Inc. that in the first half of 2016, capital expenditure on the Cotai development totaled HKD2.5 billion. The news agency quoted a note from the Monday conference call which stated that capital expenditure “is expected to accelerate hereafter to a full-year spend of HKD8 billion.” In its most recent interim report, SJM Holdings said that it is in the process of securing financing for later in the year to bankroll construction of the Grand Lisboa Palace.
Commenting on the company’s Casino Jai Alai venue, the CEO said that renovation of the site located on the Macau Peninsula next Casino Oceanus, is likely to be completed by October and that time is needed to obtain the necessary approvals to begin operations, which will hopefully happen by the year’s end, according to the news agency. SJM Holdings’ renovation work on Jai Alai, which was announced in 2012, was put on hold from February 2014 to May 2015 because the company said it had been waiting to receive approvals from the Macau government.
While SJM Holdings has yet to state in recent filings how many machines and gaming tables the renovated gambling venue is likely to have, it has stated that there will be retail shops, restaurants, and approximately 130 hotel rooms. The company also stated in filings that it expects the refreshed property to enhance the business of the casino when it reopens, as well as the business at Casino Oceanus at Jai Alai. In its most recent half-year report filing, SJM Holdings said that its capital commitments on the extensive renovation amount to approximately HKD557 million.
SJM Holdings’ 2,000-room Grand Lisboa Palace will be in direct competition with mega-venues such as Melco Crown Entertainment’s Studio City, as well as Sands China Limited’s luxury hotel and casino, The Venetian Macao.