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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        28  February 2011

US developer seeks to expand in Asia

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Las Vegas Sands Corp, the US-based property developer, is looking to expand property projects in Asia, possibly in Japan or India, says the company's chairman and chief executive, Sheldon G. Adelson. The Marina Bay Sands, which opened its doors in April last year, consists of an exhibition area, shops, a casino and 2,500-room hotel.

The company expects to proceed on a project valued at 15 billion in either Madrid or Barcelona it hopes will be developed "similar to the strip in Las Vegas".

The company has developed six entertainment and casino complexes in four countries. The NYSE-listed company is also seeking more land to expand its operations in Singapore, but land is sparse on the island.

"We can use whatever amount of land the government will put up," Mr Adelson added. "We are burdened by our success."

The integrated resort has drawn 11 million visitors since April last year and expects a return on investment in about four years.

This month the hotel and convention space is running at 87% occupancy.

Its Singapore property is operated by its subsidiary, Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd. The US$5.7-billion (174.65-billion-baht) Marina Bay Sands consists of an exhibition area, shops, a casino and hotel that have been open since April last year.

The hotel has more than 2,500 rooms and the convention centre has 120,000 square metres of space, with an ability to host up to 45,000 delegates, 2,000 exhibition booths or 250 meeting rooms.

Part of the US$5.7-billion Marina Bay Sands project, the convention centre has 120,000 square metres of space, with an ability to host up to 45,000 delegates, 2,000 exhibition booths or 250 meeting rooms.

"The demand that this property has created for Mice [Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions] is rapidly taking us to the point where we'll even have to ration space," said Mr Adelson, adding that the company was willing to reclaim some land from the ocean in order to make expansion possible.

Singapore announced tourism industry growth of 14.5 percent for 2010, attributed in part to its two integrated resorts - Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands - which helped boost visitor arrivals by 20 percent last year.

The Singapore Tourism Board reported tourism receipts last year were estimated to reach S$18.8 billion, with shopping, sightseeing, entertainment and accommodation making up 61 percent.

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