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Chow Tai Fook, Far East Join Echo for Brisbane Casino Venture

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd., owner of the world’s largest listed jeweler, and property developer Far East Consortium International Ltd. will bid with Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. to develop a new Brisbane casino.

The two Hong Kong-based companies will each take 25 percent stakes in the project, Brisbane-based Echo said in a regulatory statement today. The government of the city’s Queensland state last month shortlisted Echo, Chow Tai Fook, and two other companies to develop a casino and tourism resort at the riverside Queen’s Wharf site at the heart of Australia’s third-largest city.

Teaming up with a property developer and luxury retail group will give Echo more expertise and funding as it competes with billionaire James Packer’s Crown Resorts Ltd. and an affiliate of Chinese property developer Greenland Holding Group Co. for a government contract on the site. Chow Tai Fook, which has about 89 percent of Chow Tai Fook Jewelery Group, was shortlisted in its own right in the government tender.

The partnership “will deliver major investment in tourism infrastructure,” Matt Bekier, Echo’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. The project “presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

To contact the reporter on this story: David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net Iain McDonald, Malcolm Scott

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