Investment Firms Sell Significant Stakes in Las Vegas Sands

  • Recent SEC filings show a number of major investors sold off shares in the second quarter
  • This includes BNY Mellon and the Korea Investment Corporation
  • Las Vegas Sands is facing a $12bn lawsuit in Macau which may unsettle investors
  • Despite these issues, it will continue to focus on expanding in Asia
Finger pressing red 'Sell' button on a black keyboard.
The Korea Investment Corporation and the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation both sold a large number of share in Las Vegas Sands during the second quarter of 2019. [Image: Shutterstock]

Movers and shakers

The Korea Investment CORP is cutting down on its position in the United States gambling company Las Vegas Sands (LVS). This news came via a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

sold a total of 61,600 shares in Las Vegas Sands, leaving itself with 107,200

This filing confirms that Korea Investment Corp sold approximately 36.5% of its stake in Las Vegas Sands in the second quarter of 2019. 

The investment company sold a total of 61,600 shares in Las Vegas Sands, leaving itself with 107,200. At the end of the second quarter, the Korea Investment CORP’s position in the global casino company was worth $6.3m.

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation also decreased its position in the casino company. It sold 40.6% of its position during the second quarter, a total of 1,766,256 shares. Previously the firm had 2,595,912 shares, which was 0.34% of the entire Las Vegas Sands stock. 

There were some firms that built up their position in the casino company significantly in the first two quarters of 2019. This includes the Bessemer Group, BlackRock Inc., DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale and the Neuberger Berman Group.

Major Macau lawsuit

A potential thorny issue for Las Vegas Sands stock going forward is a $12bn lawsuit it faces in Macau. The lawsuit has been initiated by a former business partner, the Asian America Entertainment Corporation.

lawsuit was originally filed in 2012 for $4bn

The plaintiff is suing Las Vegas Sands, in addition to three subsidiaries, over the global casino company’s successful bid for a gaming license in Macau during 2002. 

A lawsuit was originally filed in 2012 for $4bn, but the plaintiff increased the size of the claim as they try to obtain alleged lost profits in the period between 2004 and 2018. 

The first hearing for this lawsuit took place on September 11, 2019. The Macau Court of First Instance approved Las Vegas Sands’ request the date on which the casino company has to answer this latest lawsuit to be postponed. This gives the defense team more time to prepare.

It was in March that another former business partner of the Las Vegas Sands successfully won his lawsuit for a similar allegation. Richard Suen was suing the company for $70m and he settled for an undisclosed sum. 

Expansion continues

Despite this lawsuit, Las Vegas Sands is still looking to expand in Asia. Its main focus is securing one of three casino resort licenses in Japan. Initially, the company was looking to secure the Osaka license, but it is now instead focusing on either a Yokohama or Tokyo license. 

The company also is expanding its presence in Singapore. It recently got a $5bn loan from the Development Bank of Singapore. This will see the company expand its operations in the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino. 

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