Following the spilt of Melco and Crown, the rebranded Melco Resorts and Entertainment has rebranded its Philippine arm to Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corporation. The wholly owned subsidiary, which operates City of Dreams Manila, will also change its stock ticker on the Philippine stock exchange from ‘MCP’ to ‘MRP’.
The name change will officially take effect on May 30, through a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It comes at a bad time for Crown as the ‘MCP’ stock was just confirmed as the world’s top-performing casino stock of 2017 – according to a report, the stock expanded eight times since 2015 – mainly due to improving relations with China that has seen a significant rise in Chinese tourists to the new IRs in the Philippine capital.
Crown Resorts, headed by Australian mogul James Packer, is turning its focus to Sydney and is building a $2bn luxury resort at Barangaroo. The company this year decided to sell its remaining shares in its joint venture with Melco Resorts, pulling out of both Macau and the Philippines. Additionally, the company is selling its land in Las Vegas to exit that market as well. The move could see the two operators go head to head in the race for a Japan license.
Melco has always had “a keen interest in Japan” said the company’s CEO Lawrence Ho in a statement earlier this year. The Macau-based firm held a press conference in February where it presented two concepts for IR projects in Umekita and Yumeshima, Osaka, declaring that it is prepared to outbid rivals and invest up to US$10bn in Japan.
Crown began selling its stake in the joint venture last year in order to reduce its debut and fund future projects. The decade-long joint venture, which gave rise to City of Dreams in Macau and the Philippines, as well as Studio City Macau, ended on May 15. Rebranding the company, first in Macau, and then in the Philippines was the natural succession. While Melco already had a majority control of the properties, the new company will now be solely in charge of the strategic decisions of the businesses moving forward.