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Navajo casino loan approved

31 August 2007

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona-- As reported by the Gallup Independent: "The Economic Development Committee approved legislation Wednesday which would authorize the Navajo Nation to commit to a $100 million loan from JP Morgan Chase to establish gaming on the reservation.

"The legislation must be approved by the Navajo Nation Council.

"Derrick Watchman of JP Morgan Chase told the committee that, a couple years ago, the Office of the Controller issued a request for proposals, looking for banks to submit qualifications and experiences for financing Navajo Nation projects, in particular gaming.

"...JP Morgan Chase is in agreement and willing to commit $100 million for gaming projects of the Navajo Nation. In my portfolio, we have over $2 billion in gaming assets that we manage around the country, so our experience is quite extensive,' he said.

"Watchman, who is also a member of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority Management Board, said he has been at the bank for five years, has done several dozen Indian gaming transactions, and knows how to finance gaming projects within Indian Country..."

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