Macau’s average daily revenue (ADR) for casino gaming during the opening days of China’s Golden Week holiday appears to have been above market expectation – in the range of MOP800 million (US$100.2 million) to MOP900 million – say several investment analysts.
They quote anecdotal reports, as the unofficial industry returns on which many analysts rely had been delayed during the holiday period.
The reported range was “stronger than our initial expected range of MOP750 [million] to MOP800 million and the market’s MOP700 [million] to MOP750 million,” said a note on Monday from Kenneth Fong and Isis Wong of Credit Suisse AG in Hong Kong.
“On the ground, we heard from the junkets that the VIP business volume was solid over the holiday (October 1 to 4) with volume up ranging 60 [percent] to 110 percent [up], compared [to] September daily average volume, from the few junkets we surveyed. This should dismiss some market concerns on the tight junket liquidity post-Dore incident,” said Credit Suisse. It was referring to an alleged internal fraud confirmed last month at Macau junket operator Dore Entertainment Co Ltd, where an employee is said to have disappeared, leading to losses equivalent to at least US$57 million.
Data from Macau Government Tourism Office show that – despite reported travel disruption and a reduction in visitor numbers on Sunday as Typhoon Mujigae passed by the city – during the period October 1 to 4 inclusive, total visitor arrivals went up 1.9 percent and for mainland Chinese visitors the tally rose 7.8 percent year-on-year. The days are a peak time for the Golden Week holiday.
Daiwa Securities Group Inc said in a note on Monday that the casino gross gaming revenue numbers anecdotally reported in relation to the holiday season “indicate a strong Golden Week, especially in Cotai, marked by good betting volumes in both the VIP and mass segments.”
Daiwa’s analysts Jamie Soo, Adrian Chan and Jennifer Wu had said in a note on September 22 that Golden Week was “the last peak season for 2015, which dictates the way the remainder of the year will play out”.
In Monday’s note the Daiwa team added, “the real test for this Golden Week is whether a prolonged impact of a higher post-peak season ADR will hold. Current indicators suggest that it will”.
Cameron McKnight, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, said in his Monday note that while reports of ADR for Golden Week ranging from MOP800 million to MOP900 million were an improvement from the daily average of MOP571 million achieved in September, it was nonetheless “down 33 percent versus Golden Week last year”.
“Our October forecast remains at -27 percent to -31 percent year-over-year growth. We remain neutral on the Macau gaming market,” added Mr McKnight.
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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