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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        25  June 2011

Genting moves into overseas markets

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Genting Malaysia Bhd is plowing funds into its global expansion program.

The Malaysian resort and gaming giant has been making some headway in the global leisure and hospitality industry over the last year, as it gains a foothold in the European and American markets.

In October last year, for instance, the company completed its acquisition of Genting Singapore plc's casino operations in the United Kingdom for a total cash consideration of 340mil (RM1.67bil). The operations there boast the largest number of casino properties in the United Kingdom, with 44 units, including five in London.

Last month, Genting Malaysia announced its second venture in the United States. This latest project, centered in the city of Miami in the southern state of Florida, comes after the company won the bid to build a video lottery facility at the Aqueduct Racetrack in New York City in August last year.

“Genting Malaysia is well positioned to expand its business overseas given its huge cash reserves; we expect such endeavour to boost the company's earnings potential over the medium to longer term,” an analyst said.

As at the end of the first quarter (Q1) to March 2011, Genting Malaysia had an estimated net cash of RM2bil. The company had an accumulated cash hoard of RM2.87bil at the end of financial year (FY) ended Dec 31, 2010, compared with RM5.25bil at the end of FY2009.

“Unless a portion of its money is put to work, sitting on such a huge pile of cash could prove to be a costly luxury in terms of good investment opportunities foregone if it's not invested in high-growth markets,” the analyst explains.


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