Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Thursday, 13 November 2008

US firm cuts Macau building jobs

Las Vegas Sands construction site on Cotai Strip, Macau
Construction has been suspended on the Cotai Strip

Up to 11,000 workers in Macau could lose their jobs after gaming giant Las Vegas Sands suspended its building projects.

Sands executive Stephen Weaver said about 2,000 of the workers were from Macau. Others were from Hong Kong, mainland China and other countries.

The US-based firm is among companies suffering from the credit crisis and visa restrictions in the territory.

Mr Weaver said Sands expected to finish constructing the sites on the Cotai Strip but did not give a timetable.

The company said it would temporarily shut down two sites including a Shangri-La/Traders hotel tower, a Sheraton hotel tower and three casinos.

Last year it opened the 5,000-room Venetian casino in Macau, costing $2.4 billion, but has seen its US-listed share price fall amid worries about its heavy debt levels.

On Tuesday, Sands said in a statement it was halting part of its huge development in Macau due to trouble accessing credit, although it said it was in the process of raising $2bn in new funding.

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