Melco Crown Jumps to Two-Month High in U.S. on Loan

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. rose to a two-month high in U.S. trading on speculation the Macau casino venture between Lawrence Ho and James Packer is seeking a loan to fund the development of a new project.

American depositary receipts of Melco gained 3.2 percent to $11.18 by 10:41 a.m. in New York, the highest intraday level since Nov. 9. The ADRs, each representing three common shares in the Hong Kong-based company, have increased 6.2 percent over the past three days.

Melco Crown approached banks to finance its Studio City project in the former Portuguese colony city that is the only place in China where public gambling is allowed, according to four people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the details are private. The loan may be about $1.25 billion, two of the people said.

Studio City will be an integrated resort with a “theme and demographic focus” aimed at differentiating it from the company’s existing portfolio of assets, according to Melco Crown’s website. The company is about three to four weeks away from hiring banks, the people said.

Melco Crown’s shares gained 2.2 percent earlier today in Hong Kong to HK$28.15, the equivalent of $3.63 per share. The ADRs are trading at a 2.7 percent premium over the Hong Kong stock.

(Corrects story published on Jan. 19 to show venture is between Lawrence Ho and James Packer.)
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