Macau’s June casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) might be circa 45 percent that of the same month in 2019, with a possible factor in the performance being the re-emergence since late May of Covid-19 cases in mainland China, says a Tuesday note from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.
“Due to new Covid-19 cases emerging in China which may lead to softness in visitation, we forecast June GGR to be down mid-50s of percent range compared to June 2019,” stated analysts Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li, and Kelsey Zhu.
In June 2019, Macau GGR was MOP23.81 billion (US$2.98 billion), so 45 percent of that number would be MOP10.72 billion.
Sanford Bernstein said in further commentary that the Macau government had “confirmed” that the mainland’s Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) visa system for Macau was “continuing as usual, although it’s still under a manual application process rather than eVisa”.
The institution said the government’s clarification was in order to “respond to some recent rumours that the mainland government may suspend IVS due to the detection of more than 50 Covid cases in Guangzhou and Shenzhen since May 21,” a reference to places in Guangdong province, next door to Macau.
Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, had said in Tuesday comments that the Covid-19 situation on the mainland was likely to have an impact on recovery of Macau’s tourism sector.
The head of the city’s tourism office said on the same occasion that there had been an “immediate” impact on Macau’s volume of tourist arrivals.
Brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd observed in a Tuesday memo that June was. in Macau-GGR terms, “historically” the “weakest month of the year”.
“We expect further recovery over the summer holidays with July/August printing MOP11 billion to MOP12 billion GGR (roughly MOP350 million to MOP390 million per day), after a seasonal lull in June,” wrote JP Morgan analysts DS Kim, Derek Choi and Livy Lyu.
Sanford Bernstein said it forecast for 2021 as a whole Macau’s GGRAsia would be up 205 percent year-on-year, and be about 64 percent of 2019’s.
It estimated 2021 mass-market play would be “less than” three-quarters of 2019’s, and VIP play “less than half” of 2019’s.
Carlo Santarelli, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc, said in a Tuesday note the institution was raising its estimate for second-quarter Macau GGR by 20.4 percent, to the equivalent of US$3.66 billion, from US$3.04 billion, which it said would be circa 804 percent up on the approximately US$404.7 million achieved in June last year.
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