MGM Mirage: CityCenter not affected by debt woes

AP News
Posted: Nov 27, 2009 1:09 PM

Casino operator MGM Mirage said Friday that its CityCenter joint venture with Dubai World, the investment arm of the Dubai government, is not affected by Dubai World's request to delay repaying billions in debt and will still open on time.

Dubai World, which has about $60 billion in debt, said Wednesday it asked creditors if it could postpone forthcoming payments until at least May.

The news revived worries about bad debt and sparked concerns of a ripple effect around the global financial system. World markets dropped on Thursday when Wall Street was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

MGM representative Yvette Monet said in a statement that the joint venture is unaffected by Dubai World's announcement.

"CityCenter is fully funded, on schedule and ready to begin welcoming guests starting next week," Monet said.

CityCenter is an $8.5 billion casino complex in Las Vegas that is half-owned by Dubai World. The 67-acre development of plush resorts, condominiums, a retail mall and one casino on the Las Vegas Strip will start opening in phases on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, MGM of Las Vegas said it lost $750.4 million for the three months that ended Sept. 30 because of falling revenue, and it wrote down the value of the CityCenter project.

Investor Kirk Kerkorian has said he may cut his 37 percent stake in MGM.

In a shortened trading day, shares of MGM Mirage followed the broader markets lower and retreated 45 cents, or 4.1 percent, to close at $10.56. Major stock indexes fell about 2 percent from 13-month highs, including the Dow Jones industrial average.