Australia’s Crown Resorts says it may spin off domestic assets

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 15 Jun 2016

The Crown Casino complex is pictured in Melbourne March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

SYDNEY: Australian casino firm Crown Resorts Ltd may set up a new listed company housing most of its domestic assets, a move that could cushion those operations from the downturn in Asia gambling hub Macau which has hammered its shares.

In a statement issued late on Wednesday, Australia’s No.1 casino company said it may demerge its international investments to create a separate listed company, while considering setting up and listing a property trust which would partly own its Australian assets.

“We believe that Crown Resorts’ extremely high-quality Australian resorts are not being fully valued and the Crown Resorts share price has been highly correlated to the performance of its investment in Macau,” Crown chairman Robert Rankin said in the statement.

The move ends months of speculation about James Packer’s plans for the business after Australia’s third-richest man stepped down as chairman in August. Since then, shares have fallen over 17% compared with a 9.7% drop in the broader market.

In February, Crown reported a 35% slump in first-half profit due to a drop in Chinese high-rollers at its Macau casinos.

On Wednesday, Crown said it continued to have “great faith in the long-term development of the Macau market”. - Reuters

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