BUSINESS

Belle Corp. has no plans to spin off gaming business

TAGs: Belle Corporation, Belle Grande, entertainment city, gambling, willy ocier

belle-grande-opening-in-late-2013Contrary to what vice chairman Willy Ocier may or may not have said in Philippine dailies earlier this week, casino operator Belle Corporation, the developers of the glistening Belle Grande, has no plans to spin of its gaming business.

That much was clarified by the company’s chief financial officer and executive vice president Manuel Gana amid speculation that the company was planning to make major acquisitions down the road in an attempt to spin off its gaming business.

Talking to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Gana shot down all those rumors, saying that the company has “no plans of spinning off its gaming business and it is not about to make any major acquisition,” he said.

It must be noted, though, that Belle Corp’s parent company, SM Investments, is heavily involved in property development, as well as banking, and mall and retail businesses.

Gana’s statements to the stock exchange were in part to clarify what Ocier was quoted by various newspapers earlier in the week involving Belle’s plans to spin off part of its gaming business in the future. “We are sorting out what Belle is supposed to be in the next five years,” Ocier was quoted.

“When people invest in Belle, they want to know who we are and what we do. So we have to identify our core business… Right now, one of them is gaming. It will always be that in the SM portfolio but it will be in Belle Corp. So Belle really has to come up with its own. We are looking for another tool.”

For now, the focus of the company is solely on Belle Grande, a $1 billion integrated resort and casino in Entertainment City it is building and developing with Melco Crown. The complex is expected to be completed by 2014, making it the second of the four integrated resorts – Bloomberry Resort’s Solaire Manila opened two months ago – that will make up Entertainment City.

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