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Robinsons Rises to Record on Casino Venture Report: Manila Mover

Robinsons Land Corp. rose to a record in Manila trading after the Philippine Daily Inquirer said the developer is close to reaching an agreement with Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada on a casino venture in Manila.

Robinsons Land advanced 4.1 percent to close at 21.50 pesos, the highest level based on prices going back to January 1990. About 9.34 million shares were traded, more than double the average daily volume in the past six months. Robinsons Land President Frederick Go and Vice Chairman Lance Gokongwei didn’t immediately respond to mobile-phone messages seeking comment.

A deal is imminent and an initial agreement may be signed in a few days between Okada and a group led by John Gokongwei, whose family owns Robinsons Land, Philippine Daily reported today, citing a person it didn’t identify. Robinsons Land may conclude discussions with Okada, who holds one of four casino licenses awarded by the Philippine government, in the “next few months,” Lance Gokongwei, son of John Gokongwei, said Oct. 16.

“This diversification into casinos is a good step and value enhancing for Robinsons Land,” James Lago, an analyst at PCCI Securities Brokers Corp. in Manila, said in a phone interview. “A casino is a high-risk, high-margin business with a steady cash flow.”

Discussions are ongoing with Robinsons Land on the new Manila casino resort, Nobuyuki Horiuchi, a spokesman at Tokyo-based Universal Entertainment Corp., controlled by Okada, said by telephone.

Universal Entertainment rose 4.5 percent to close at 1,323 yen in Tokyo trading, its sharpest gain since July 13. JG Summit Holdings Inc., parent of Manila-based Robinsons Land, climbed 2.9 percent to 38.90 pesos, the highest closing level based on prices going back to August 1993.

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