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Kerkorian may increase MGM Resorts stake, stock up

NEW YORK (AP) -- MGM Resorts International's stock climbed more than 7 percent on Thursday after its biggest shareholder, Kirk Kerkorian, requested permission to raise his stake in the casino and resort operator to up to 25 percent.

THE SPARK: In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. said that no decision has been made as to how many shares may be purchased.

Billionaire investor Kerkorian's Tracinda currently owns 18.6 percent of MGM Resorts' shares.

THE BACKGROUND: MGM Resorts owns and runs 15 properties in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan, including CityCenter, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Aria and MGM Grand properties on the Las Vegas Strip, among others. It also is the majority owner of MGM China Holdings Ltd., which owns the MGM Macau casino-resort, and is developing a new Cotai resort.

Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal.

Last month MGM Resorts reported that its fourth-quarter loss widened as it booked big charges to write down the value of some land in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The Las Vegas company's adjusted loss and revenue both missed Wall Street's expectations.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of MGM Resorts added 89 cents, or 7.2 percent, to $13.30 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $8.83 to $14.80. Shares started Thursday's session up about 7 percent for the year to date.