Packer’s Japan casino bid delayed; Myer profit falls: Midday Roundup

Packer’s Japan casino bid delayed; Myer profit falls: Midday Roundup

James Packer’s plans for a Japanese casino are on hold after a senior official indicated plans to legalise casino gambling in Japan are likely to be delayed yet again.

Reuters reports a senior official in the office of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated concerns over the effects of gambling on society could hold up the approvals process. Potential investors in the venture include Las Vegas Sands, Genting Singapore, MGM Resorts and Crown.

The Japanese parliament is unlikely to have enough time to pass the controversial law during the current session, which ends on November 30.

“The hurdle is quite high for both lower and upper houses to enact it” during the current session, said Keiichi Ishii, policy chief of Komeito, which is the junior partner in Abe’s coalition government.

Myer profit falls 22.6% as chairman’s salary rises

Myer has released its annual report to shareholders, revealing last year’s profits fell 22.6% from $127.2 million to $98.5 million.

But sales fell 0.6% per cent fall in sales to $3.1 billion, allowing the retail giant to argue its investment in the business during the year, such as its acquisition of brands including fashion label sass &bide, was the factor which adversely affected performance and profitability.

“However, we look forward to the benefits of our investments beginning to be realised in FY2015,” said a statement from Myer chairman chair Paul McClintock.

McClintock himself received a 7% pay hike for the year – an extra $80,566 – to bring his total salary to $400,000 a year.

Local shares up on opening

Aussie shares were up ahead of the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s minutes and some positive numbers from Wall St.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 7.9 points to 5327.3 at 12:16pm AEDT. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed 19.26 points higher, rising 0.12% to 16,399.7.

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