Macau daily casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the first week of November was up 12 percent week-on-week, supported by “strong… recovery” in visitor volume to the city, but GGR was still “lighter than expected”, said brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd in a Monday note.
The institution estimated the average daily rate for November 1 to 7 inclusive was MOP235 million (US$29.3 million) versus MOP209 million the week before.
Sanford Bernstein said since October 19 – following an earlier Covid-19 alert in the city – daily border movements in and out of Macau had risen to more than 50,000 per day, “not far from the May peak” of 57,000 daily movements in and out.
“Given China’s Covid outbreak is continuing and has spread to 20 (of total 34) provinces, visitation to Macau seems reasonably solid, but average visitor spend seems low,” wrote analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu.
A Monday note from JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd also put the daily run rate for the start of November at MOP235 million.
“While this itself isn’t a very pleasing print, it is not too bad either considering the recent Covid flare-ups in multiple provinces” of mainland China, said the JP Morgan team of DS Kim, Amanda Cheng and Livy Lyu.
The Sanford Bernstein team said their channel checks suggested VIP play average daily volumes were up approximately 75 percent to 80 percent month-on-month in the first week of November, but hold had been “below normal, negatively impacting GGR”.
The brokerage also mentioned that the authorities in Hong Kong had been in talks with those on the mainland with the hope of having limited easing of travel conditions between the places in December, with a potential “larger scale” easing in February.
JP Morgan, in similar vein to Sanford Bernstein, noted the talks on travel easing, and put the annual Macau mass GGR contribution of Hong Kong visitors in pre-pandemic times at “15 percent to 20 percent”.
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Macau’s Public Prosecutions Office