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Howard Stutz

Banks to fund major Macau bridge project

21 March 2011

MACAU -- Seven banks have agreed to finance construction of a long-anticipated massive bridge project that will allow automobile traffic to reach Macau from Hong Kong and the Chinese province of Zhuhai.

Chinese media is reporting loan package is worth roughly $4.5 billion. Separately, the Special Administrative Region of Macau also launched a public tender for a 340-acre land reclamation project related to the bridge.

Macau is developing a mixed-use development at the terminus of the bridge, which includes a significant number of parking spaces and a shuttle bus depot. The bridge and associated projects should be completed sometime in 2015.

China is developing several infrastructure projects, such as a high-speed train and light rail system to boost mass market visitation to Macau. Currently, high-speed ferry service from Hong Kong is typical connection between the two Special Administrative Regions.

“In 2010, mass market revenues accounted for 28 percent of total gross gaming revenue in Macau, down from 33 percent in 2009 due to outsized strength of the VIP segment last year,” Union Gaming Group principal Bill Lerner told investors.