Belle Corp eyes $1B leisure project - govt official

By Rosemarie Francisco and Jason Szep, Reuters

Posted at Feb 07 2012 08:15 PM | Updated as of Feb 08 2012 04:15 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Property and leisure group Belle Corp. has told the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation it wants to acquire a 10-hectare property within a casino-entertainment complex rising in Manila, the head of the state gaming firm said.

Development of the property would require at least $1 billion and would increase Belle's investment in the complex, PAGCOR chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat said on Tuesday.

"We have a letter from the Belle group requesting us for them to get that property," Naguiat told Reuters in an interview. "We told them to put more details into that letter on what they plan to do, and what they intend to do with the property."

Naguiat said his office received the letter from Belle, controlled by the country's richest man Henry Sy, a few weeks ago.

Belle had previously bagged a deal to develop an integrated entertainment resort complex called Belle Grande Manila Bay, which features a 30,000-square metre casino, within the over 100-hectare Entertainment City set to rise in Manila starting late this year.