Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Genting: The Australian Saga continues. Msian gambling and resorts operator raises Echo stake to near 10%. According to news reports from Australia, Genting Group has increased its stake in Echo Entertainment to almost 10%, putting the Msian gambling and resorts operator on par with Australian billionaire James Packer and seeking to gain control of the casino company. James Packer, who already owns 10% of Echo through Crown, wants to use Echo's licence to build a new casino complex in Sydney to attract more Asian high-rollers. Analysts note that there may have been an agreement between Genting's KT Lim (chairman Lim Kok Thay) and Crown's James Packer that each group would hold a 10% blocking interest for now and wait to see what develops. The pact could fend off potential hostile takeover bids. Genting bought 2% of Echo, or 13.8m shares worth around A$60m (S$77.1m), in a single trade yesterday morning, according to sources and brokers in Sydney. That follows a block trade by Genting's HK unit on Mon for 19.26m Echo shares, or about 2.8% of the co, worth A$82.6m, according to a stock market filing by Genting Hong Kong. The latest deals would take Genting's stake through various group firms to 9.7%. Under Echo's constitution, no single party can hold more than 10 per cent and will need a regulatory nod to go further. Reuters

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