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Saturday, 17 September 2011

Is MGM All In on CityCenter? (BYD, LVS, MGM, MPEL, WYNN)

As someone who likes to throw the dice on occasion, I'd find it interesting to visit a place like Macau and enjoy a new place to gamble, though the cost associated with the trip makes it nearly impossible. Las Vegas, on the other hand, is an affordable destination from most of the United States, making it much easier for the casual gamer to find a table at the variety of casinos on and off the Vegas Strip.

My Foolish colleague Travis Hoium made the argument that MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM ) is relying on its operations in Macau, and I do not disagree. As its recent quarterly earnings show, revenue growth is driven primarily by growth in Asia. However, MGM is betting big on CityCenter in Las Vegas.

Show me the money
MGM has spent much of the last two years developing and building CityCenter, an almost 18 million-square-foot mixed-use complex. At nearly $9.2 billion, it is the largest privately financed development in the United States. It sold half of the project to Dubai World, which will help share the current losses while waiting for future gains. With more than $12 billion in long-term debt, MGM really needs CityCenter to start making some money to help the company deleverage and overcome what some have called the worst investment in gaming.

Universities offer Islamic finance as master's - The National

Two universities will launch master's degrees in Islamic finance tomorrow, hoping to fill a void in a market desperate for qualified professionals.

The Canadian University in Dubai and Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University have introduced the specialist master's of business administration (MBA), geared towards one of the fastest growing financial sectors, to meet demand at home and abroad.

Dr Muhammed Kabir, the vice president for academic affairs at the Canadian University of Dubai, hopes it will give the university an advantage over competitors when classes start tomorrow, in an emirate where 20 institutions offer 25 MBAs.

The Associated Press: Saudi firm settles kickback allegations for $13M

The Justice Department says a Saudi Arabian company has agreed to pay the U.S. government $13 million to resolve kickback allegations involving contracts to support the Army's operations in Iraq and Kuwait.

The department says Tamimi Global Co. Ltd. paid kickbacks to a Kellogg Brown & Root Inc. employee and paid illegal gratuities to a former Army sergeant to obtain contracts. Both pleaded guilty earlier to federal charges of receiving illegal payments.

The Saudi company has entered a deferred prosecution agreement under which it must institute a strict compliance program to ensure that the company and its employees must abide by legal and ethical standards required by U.S. government contracts.