Accordingly, Suncity will take over 34% stake from Chow-Tai-Fook Group’s subsidiary Golden Yield Enterprise (GYE), which is a partner in the joint venture established to develop the Hoiana project.
Suncity entered into a co-operation with GYE and Vietnam-based Vinacapital to develop the US$4-billion Hoiana project in the central province of Quang Nam.
The project’s first, US$650-million phase is in implementation. As of now, VinaCapital invested US$89 million into the first phase and will mobilise an additional US$484 million. With the 34% holding in the project, Suncity will have to contribute US$26.2 million to develop the first phase, which is expected to come into operation in 2019.
Licensed in 2010, the project was initially developed by VinaCapital and Genting Malaysia Berhad and comprised of five-star hotels, villas, and a casino targeting foreign tourists.
However, in September 2012, Genting suddenly announced its withdrawal in the midst of site clearance, forcing VinaCapital to find other partners to jointly develop the project.
After finding suitable partners, in late April 2016, the joint venture held the ground-breaking ceremony. The construction was implemented by Vietnamese contractor Coteccons.
Investing in the Hoiana project is part of Suncity’s plan to pour billions of dollars into integrated casino resorts in Vietnam and Japan, aiming to realise its ambition of becoming an overseas casino operator on par with Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts Ltd.
In spite of operating VIP rooms where monthly bets recently surpassed US$17 billion, Suncity still plans to seize ownership in casinos and bid on contracts to manage casinos aboard. The ambitious expansion is planned even as Macau’s high-roller business continues the rebound that began last year.
“In the future, if we own integrated casino resorts with golf courses, swimming pools, and restaurants, our clients will stick more with us,” said Andrew Lo, executive director of the group’s listed vehicle, Suncity Group Holding Ltd.
Suncity selected Vietnam as an overseas investment destination due to its potential in the gaming sector. According to a report published on August 9 by Grant Govertsen, an analyst at Macau-based Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd., Vietnam could generate as much as US$1.2 billion in gross gaming revenue in the upcoming years.