Neptune Group Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed investor in the Macau VIP gambling sector, warned on Tuesday it was likely to make “a substantial loss” for the year ending June 30, 2015. It didn’t give specific figures or a percentage of the likely decline in profit.
It said the cause was “the closure of a VIP gaming lounge in Macau in which the group has a 20 percent interest”. The facility, operated by a gaming promoter called Lucky Star, is at Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd’s StarWorld Hotel on Macau peninsula.
Neptune added: “As a result of the notification by Lucky Star to the company of its intended cessation…commencing 1 July 2015, the Group expects to make a substantial loss for the year ending 30 June 2015. Such closure will result in the making of a material impairment of an intangible asset and charge to profit and loss account for the year ending 30 June 2015.”
Daiwa Securities Group Inc on Monday said it expected more closures of Macau junket rooms, adding that visitors from mainland China to Macau were likely to be rationed to three trips every 60 days with effect from July 1. Daiwa said this was likely to have an impact on market wide gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau.
GGR has fallen 37.1 percent year-on-year in the five months to May 31, due to factors including mainland China’s anti-corruption campaign, analysts have said. VIP baccarat GGR fell 42.1 percent in the first quarter according to government figures released in April.
Neptune Group was once one of the biggest investors in Macau junkets measured by chip roll, investment analysts have additionally reported.
In December 2014, Hong Kong police launched a money laundering investigation into Cheung Chi Tai, a former shareholder of Neptune Group. Mr Cheung, through a privately held company, owned a maximum of 12.9 percent of Neptune Group in 2007 but has had no stake since September 2008, Hong Kong Stock Exchange filings indicate.
A spokesman for an entity identifying itself as Neptune Guangdong Group said at the time of the 2014 Hong Kong police investigation that Mr Cheung wasn’t among that company’s current investors and that the entity had no business connections with him.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China