The average daily rate of Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the third week of April improved compared to earlier in the month to MOP800 million (US$99 million), “partly on higher non-mainlander traffic over the Easter long weekend”. That is according to a Tuesday note from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.
Nonetheless the institution said it expected Macau’s April GGR to be down year-on-year in the range of 12 percent to 9 percent; or down 11 percent to 8 percent judged month-on-month.
“One area of potential high-end GGR stabilisation and renewed strength may come from a recovering credit cycle in China which may support VIP recovery in the second half” of 2019, stated analysts Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu, reiterating a view mentioned in a March report by Sanford Bernstein.
Japanese brokerage Nomura said it expected April as a whole to deliver GGR of circa MOP24 billion to MOP25 billion, which it said would represent a decline of 3 percent to 8 percent year-on-year against a “tough” comparison in the prior-year period.
Nomura also estimated Easter-week GGR at MOP800 million, which it calculated was up 10 percent on the prior week, but roughly 7 percent lower on a month-to-date basis than the same period last year.
“Our latest consultant checks suggest a pickup in non-mainlander traffic during Easter,” wrote Nomura analysts Harry Curtis, Daniel Adam and Brian Dobson.
The second-largest cohort of tourists to Macau judged annually – after residents of mainland China – is usually residents of Hong Kong, according to data from Macau’s Statistics and Census Bureau.
In Hong Kong, Easter is a holiday long weekend that includes Good Friday and Easter Monday. Those days are not public holidays in either mainland China or Taiwan. The latter island is usually the third-largest tourism source market annually for Macau, according to data from the city’s government.
Sanford Bernstein said in its Tuesday memo that despite the improved average daily revenue performance for April 15 to 21 compared to earlier in the month, such daily revenue was “still weaker than for March, as VIP hold rate is estimated to have normalised from the high hold rate last month.”
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"The Macau recovery continues to be disrupted by false starts, while the lack of [Chinese] public holidays for rest of the year should cap the pace of the rebound”
Andrew Lee and David Katz
Analysts at brokerage Jefferies LLC