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Lippo Group considers withdrawing from Korea venture

Hong Kong-listed Lippo Ltd is considering withdrawing from its proposed joint venture with US gaming company Caesars Entertainment Corp. to build a casino in Incheon, Korea, according to a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Lippo says there is a number of uncertainties relating to the project, including the uncertainty as to whether a final license would be granted and the terms of the grant. Given the current outlook for the gaming industry in North Asia, Lippo says it is in discussions with Caesars about the possibility for a third party to acquire the group’s interest in the project.  

The company said even if it divests its interests in the project, the group may still consider participating in “certain developments”, but will not participate in any gaming aspect of the project.

In January, Lippo said that there was doubt over whether its plan for an integrated resort in South Korea with Caesars Entertainment will proceed, after parties failed to resolve outstanding issues by a Dec. 31st deadline.

“There is no assurance that such discussions and negotiations will result in any agreement, in which case the Project will not proceed,” the group said at the time.

In March last year, Lippo, together with Caesars Entertainment and Singapore's OUE Ltd received preliminary approval to build a foreigner-only integrated tourism resort. The casino would be located near the country's main international airport on Yeongjong island and is expected to cost around 2.3 trillion won ($2.2 billion).

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