Macau’s casino industry kicked off September with a positive gross gaming revenue (GGR) performance, posting its best week in more than three months, according to unofficial industry returns quoted by several analysts covering the gaming sector. The results were helped by an extended holiday period in mainland China, the analysts said.
“Our industry channel checks indicate Macau GGR for the month through September 6 was MOP4.1 billion [US$514 million],” said a report issued on Monday by Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd in Hong Kong.
Analysts Vitaly Umansky, Simon Zhang and Bo Wen stated: “Last week’s average daily revenue (ADR) was MOP683 million, around 14 percent higher than August’s ADR of MOP601 million. It is the most robust week since late May 2015.”
The Sanford Bernstein team noted that one factor in the strong numbers reported last week could be a long weekend in mainland China and Hong Kong, the two main feeder markets for Macau’s casino industry.
China’s State Council had declared a three-day holiday – observed from September 3 to 5 – to mark the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II. September 3 was also a holiday in Hong Kong.
Based on the data for the first six days of September, analyst David Bain from Sterne Agee CRT forecast that Macau will post a year-on-year GGR decrease of 29 percent to 35 percent for the full month. The city recorded GGR of MOP25.6 billion in September 2014.
He added: “We anticipate late September GGR to level off into the Golden Week (National Day) Holiday beginning October 1… Early indications/checks for the October 1 to 7 Golden Week Holiday are solid, mostly driven by mass hotel bookings.” The latter was a reference to a holiday period accompanying China’s national day on October 1.
Japanese brokerage Nomura stated in a Tuesday note that, “with Macau stocks down over 20 percent in the past three weeks, we believe the market has overreacted to the potential negative effect from slowing China macro [economy] and renminbi depreciation.” It recommended investors to concentrate on the more defensive Macau names, namely Sands China Ltd, currently rated by Nomura as a ‘buy’.
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"We have estimated that on average, the [daily] visitor arrivals for this year’s Chinese New Year break could turn out to be a bit weaker than for the Christmas holiday period"
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes
Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office