Stocks of Macau casino operators rose substantially in the Hong Kong market on Monday, after the local government announced on Friday a bill proposing a new regulatory system for gaming that was welcomed by the industry and investors alike.
By the close of trading in Hong Kong, the six Macau casino operators had gained in aggregate 9.9 percent in value, or HKD42.2 billion (US$5.42 billion). Shares in all six casino operators rallied, with Sands China Ltd seeing the greatest gain at 14.6 percent, to HKD21.00 by the close.
Wynn Macau Ltd rose by 11.91 percent; MGM China Holdings Ltd saw its share price gain 11.70 percent; Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd added 7.02 percent; and SJM Holdings Ltd rose 4.83 percent.
Melco International Development Ltd, the parent of U.S.-listed Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, increased by 5.08 percent at the close of trading on Monday.
Several brokerages covering the Macau casino sector said the new bill was a positive development for the industry, as it gave investors “some relief from the uncertainty around Macau’s future”.
A summary of the new bill was presented by Macau’s Executive Council, an advisory body to the city’s Chief Executive, during a press conference on Friday. The document proposes a maximum of six casino concessions, with a lifespan of up to 10 years.
In follow-up statements, Macau’s six casino operators welcomed “the timely unveiling” of key aspects of the new gaming bill, saying the summary disclosed by the government provided “clear guidelines” on several of the proposed changes. The operators also said they planned to take part in a licence retendering process, to be held under the new framework.
The government has said previously Macau’s gaming law needs to be updated as a linked issue to a fresh public tender process for Macau gaming rights. The existing six concessions are due to expire in June.
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