Lippo shares surge as South Korea casino gets initial approval

HONG KONG Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:30am EDT

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Shares of Lippo Ltd (0226.HK) jumped 41 percent in resumed trade on Tuesday after South Korea granted preliminary approval to a consortium that includes the Hong Kong-listed company to build and operate a casino resort.

Lippo, which has a market value of $279 million, was given a preliminary license together with U.S.-based Caesars Entertainment Corp (CZR.O) and property developer OUE Ltd (OVES.SI) to build the resort, including a foreigners-only casino estimated to cost 855 billion won ($801 million).

Lippo's shares, which were suspended for the morning trading session on Tuesday, jumped as far as HK$6 by 0506 GMT to a six-year high, outpacing a 0.4 percent gain in the benchmark index .HSI

(Reporting by Anne Marie Roantree and Donny Kwok; Editing by Christopher Cushing)