Macau casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for September 13 to 19 was down 8 percent week-on-week, estimated brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd in a Monday note.
It suggested the average daily rate of Macau GGR had been MOP243 million (US$30.3 million) for the week in question, versus MOP264 million the week before, the decline “largely on volatile VIP” business.
The note added that judged against the same period in 2019 – i.e., pre- Covid-19 trading times – the weekly GGR had been down 66 percent.
The memo from analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu also gave some commentary on a Covid-19 outbreak in mainland China’s Fujian province.
“The outbreak in China still needs to be monitored, but the impact would be limited if it’s contained in Fujian,” as visitors to Macau from Fujian province “only account for 5 percent” of the city’s mainland tourist volume, stated the analysts.
Covid-19 outbreaks on the mainland earlier this year coincided with a contraction in mainland visitor volume to Macau, following a steady pace of recovery from the time of the May 1 holiday season, up to the start of summer. Mainland China is the only place currently to have a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau.
The Sanford Bernstein memo also gave some commentary on the Macau government’s proposals and consultation – outlined last week – regarding possible changes to the city’s legal and regulatory framework for the casino industry.
The brokerage said there were “no big red flags,” but the brokerage acknowledged “market sentiment on Macau remains very poor”.
The equivalent of US$18.4 billion was wiped off the value of the Hong Kong-listed stocks of Macau operators in trading on September 15, the day after the government sketched plans to oversee operator dividends, and to have what it termed a government-appointed “delegate” system to oversee each Macau operator.
Sanford Bernstein mentioned the first public consultation session – which was between the industry operators, junkets and the government – held on Monday. There will also be four face-to-face sessions for the general public, during the 45-day consultation period.
“These public hearings are largely to solicit views from the Macau public and stakeholders; we do not expect any major details to be laid out by the government in these hearings,” said Sanford Bernstein.
But the brokerage added, referring to the value of Macau operator stocks: “Any positive clarifications by government could be viewed favourably, especially at current pricing.”
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