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US credit turmoil hits Packer's plans

20 August 2007

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by Australia "Plans by James Packer's Macau casino business to raise $US2.75 billion ($3.5 billion) to finance its expansion plans have been hit by the turmoil in US credit markets, which has shut off new lending for the casino business in the city.

"The nervousness in the US lending market has compelled the joint venture partners to shelve plans for the main $US1.5 billion portion, which was to have been raised in the US markets in September as part of a three-tranche financing deal for their Macau investments.

"...Mr Packer's PBL is due to report its earnings in Australia this week. The PBL/Melco joint venture has plans for three casinos in Macau: the Crown Macau, which opened in May; the $2.5 billion City of Dreams, which is under construction; and a smaller Macau Peninsula project, which is still under negotiation.

"...Chief financial officer Simon Dewhurst told analysts that the company was currently in the process of finalising the Asian tranche of the loan package, which he said would be completed in the next two weeks..."

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