In the Philippines, local trading and shipping firm Udenna Corporation has reportedly raised approximately $80.36 million to help fund its plan to build a new integrated casino resort on the central island of Mactan after selling 25% of its stake in oil and natural gas distributor Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Incorporated.

According to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper, Udenna Corporation is hoping to open the first phase of the $300 million development, which has been provisionally named Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan, in 2019 with the entire scheme set to offer a casino along with a pier-based skydiving center, a retail complex, convention facilities, luxury hotels and villas, specialty dining options and private residences.

The Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation regulator gave its provisional approval to the plan for Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan, which is to sit on a 29.6-acre beachfront plot near the city of Lapu-Lapu in the province of Cebu, a little over two weeks ago with Udenna Corporation explaining that it hopes to begin construction via its Udenna Development Corporation subsidiary by the end of the summer.

“Our investments in [Udenna Development Corporation] are anchored on our shared vision for the Philippines to become a premier destination for business and tourism,” read a statement from Dennis Uy, President for Davao City-based Udenna Corporation. “We hope to support the country’s manufacturing and tourism sectors, among others, through our property developments. We believe these will ultimately translate to employment and better living for the Filipino people.”

Due to be the first such development of its kind outside of metropolitan Manila, Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan is to be located on the Punta Engano Peninsula some 3.7 miles from Mactan-Cebu International Airport and could reportedly be completely finished by the conclusion of 2022.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Udenna Corporation sold its 25% of its holding in Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Incorporated to financial strategies firm ES Consultancy Group Incorporated and declared that the move would help it to ensure its “continued expansion not only in the domestic market but also in the Association Of Southeast Asian Nations”.

“We welcome another partner in steering Phoenix Petroleum [Philippines Incorporated] to a higher path,” read the statement from Uy. “Having more partners on board ushers in new ideas, a wider perspective and greater discipline to the country’s biggest and fastest-growing independent oil company.”

In an effort to compete with the likes of Macau and Singapore for the lucrative tax revenues generated from wealthy casino visitors, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation authorized the 296-acre Entertainment City gaming and entertainments zone on the outskirts of Manila in 2002. This area is currently home to three giant integrated casino resorts in the City of Dreams Manila, Solaire Resort and Casino and Okada Manila while a fourth, Resorts World Bayshore, is scheduled to open by the end of next year.

However, over-supply concerns saw Andrea Domingo, Chief Executive Officer for the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation, declare in March that the nation was instituting a five-year moratorium on the building of any new integrated casino resorts near Manila although she subsequently explained that her organization would continue to welcome applications for schemes in other parts of the island nation complete with more modest capital expenditure requirements.

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