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NEWS UPDATES 12 June 2009

Malaysia's Genting in tie-up talks with MGM Mirage

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Malaysian gaming group Genting is in partnership talks with US casino operator MGM Mirage, reported Reuters, quoting an article in the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

"We're just starting to brainstorm about global marketing relationships, strategic ventures and partnerships," MGM Mirage chief executive Jim Murren was quoted by the paper as saying.

Genting recently paid $100 million for a 3.2 percent stake in MGM Mirage amd also bought $100 million of MGM debt. Genting did not have any immediate comment on the Wall Street Journal report.

The investments sparked market speculation that this could pave the way for Genting to participate in MGM's Macau hotel venture.

Genting has long expressed its interest in gaining a foothold in the Chinese gambling enclave.

Speculation was also building that MGM Mirage (MGM.N), under pressure from U.S. gambling regulators and saddled with with about $14 billion in debt, may sell its stake in its Macau joint venture--MGM Grand Macau.

MGM was told last month by gambling regulators in New Jersey that Pansy Ho, the daughter of Macau gambling baron Stanley Ho, was not a suitable partner for its venture in Macau, and ordered the US firm to "disengage" itself from any business dealings with the younger Ho.

But Murren said the two companies have not discussed the possibility of Genting investing in its Macau venture.

The firm will "explore all our options in Macau in light of the" New Jersey gambling report, Murren was quoted by the newspaper as saying.


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