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Analysts Back Genting Bid

14 June 2006

SINGAPORE – As reported by Reuters: "Casino group Genting Bhd's strong cash position and low debt levels mean it could fund a casino bid in Singapore without hurting its credit profile, analysts say, although investors are not as confident.

"Last month Genting was among the losing bidders for the right to build Singapore's first casino, but analysts see the US$4.5 billion (RM16.53 billion) company as a leading contender for the city-state's second casino, which may cost as much as US$3.2 billion.

"Bond investors were rattled when Genting, through its affiliates Genting International and cruise operator Star Cruises Ltd, bid for the first licence, concerned that company's financials would be stretched.

"Analysts saw the fears as unfounded.

"Merrill Lynch analyst Sean Monaghan said as Genting International had zero debt and Genting Bhd held S$640 million (RM1.47 billion) in cash, the group had room to fund the project.

"…Calyon rated Genting bonds due in 2014 at outperform. It expects spreads on the bonds to tighten by 15 basis points after they had widened on the casino bid…"

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