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NEWS UPDATES 20 January 2010

Genting plans theme park in Johor

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Genting Bhd plans to build a theme park and hotel in Johor to ride on an expected surge in visitors to neighboring Singapore where it is set to open a $4.4 billion (S$6.1 billion) casino resort, reported Bloomberg news.

Singapore has said it hopes to lure 17 million visitors and triple annual tourism revenue to S$30 billion by 2015 with the opening of two casino resorts, including Genting's Resorts World Sentosa.

“We want visitors to Sentosa to come to our Malaysian resorts as well,” Chief Executive Officer Lim Kok Thay told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday at the company's 45th anniversary celebration.

Genting, Asia's largest publicly traded casino operator, is already working on a joint venture project to develop a Chelsea high-end shopping complex in Johor's Iskandar special economic development zone. Its proposed theme park and hotel development would be centered around this, Lim said.

“We can make Iskandar as a hub and offer tourists a complete holiday package,” Lim said, adding that the development may attract 'millions of visitors' each year. It hopes many of these will travel on to its hill-top gambling resort in Genting Highlands, near Kuala Lumpur, which the company hopes will attract as many as 30 million visitors a year in five years' time, Lim said.

Genting Plantations Bhd, a Kuala Lumpur-listed unit of Genting, will invest 200 million ringgit to develop Chelsea premium shopping centers in Malaysia, including the one in Iskandar, in a joint venture with Indiana-based Simon Property Group Inc. With its Singapore casino report set to open, Genting is also looking at 'opportunities' to further invest in the US, Lim said, without being specific.


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