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Macau recovered from its dip

05 July 2015

The shares in Macaus casino business rose by more than 10 percent in a rare rally of relief on Thursday after the visa restrictions for visitors from the mainland have been eased. After a decade of casino expansion at a breakneck pace, Macau was confronted with its first annual decline in gaming revenue last year. The reason was the anti-corruption campaign rolled out by Beijing, which had deterred many of the mainland high rollers from visiting the tiny former Portuguese territory. The Hong Kong listed shares of the leading Macau casino operators dropped dramatically last year. “This is the first signs of the easing of the monetary policy,” said Anil Daswani, an analyst at Citigroup. “The new visa policy increased the mass gaming revenue for the first time since the second quarter 2014 and this reversal was urgently needed to reignite growth in the largest casino hotspot in the world.

While Macau’s gaming revenue decreased by 17.4 billion Patacas, or $ 2.2 billion in June. That’s 36 percent less than compared to the same period last year, but slightly better than analysts’ expectations were. For example, the increased shares of Sands China, the local subsidiary of the Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and his Las Vegas Sands increased by 15.9 percent to HK $ 30.25, but compared to the last year they lost half their value. The values ​​of Steve Wynn Wynn Macau rose by 15.6 percent to HK $ 14.96 and MGM China had registered an increase of 18.1 percent. But Macau, the world’s largest casino market with regards to gaming revenues continues to be major challenging. More than $ 20 billion of long planned new casinos that are to open in the next two years in a time where the demand will be as weak as before. Another reason for the revenue loss is the smoking ban. It is about the prohibition to smoke in casinos that have lowered the VIP sales by a further 5 to 20 percent. However, Praveen Choudhary, an analyst at Morgan Stanley said that it is still too early to see a turnaround in the casino market in Macau.

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