Malaysia was likely to admit “select international tourists soon”, due to the “high vaccination rate amongst locals,” and that should be a positive for Genting Malaysia Bhd’s Resorts World Genting casino complex, says a Wednesday note from banking group Nomura.
“We believe Malaysia, which has so far been a laggard in opening borders to international tourists amongst ASEAN countries – for instance, Singapore and Thailand have already started opening up – is likely to also allow select international tourists soon, now that it has already achieved a high vaccination rate amongst locals,” wrote Nomura analysts Tushar Mohata and Alpa Aggarwal.
Resorts World Genting – Malaysia’s only casino resort – reopened on September 30 a number of facilities to the public, including the Genting Casino.
The firm had announced on May 31 that the whole of the complex (pictured in a file photo) was to be shut temporarily, due to an uptick in Covid-19 infections in Malaysia.
On Monday this week, Malaysia’s government said it would permit resumption of previously-paused interstate domestic travel, as more than 90 percent of adults in the nation had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
It additionally said fully-vaccinated Malaysians would also be allowed outbound overseas travel.
Nomura said in its Wednesday note: “We expect the recent recovery in Genting Malaysia’s share price to continue, as the Malaysian resort is now open to interstate travellers, setting the stage for a fourth-quarter earnings recovery.”
The analysts added, referring to a new outdoor theme park at Resorts World Genting: “We also expect the announcement of the launch of the much-awaited SkyWorlds theme park some time by year-end, which can act as another positive catalyst” for Genting Malaysia.
The latter firm also has casino interests in the United States and the Bahamas, and in the United Kingdom and Egypt.
Nomura’s Wednesday note gave commentary on Genting Malaysia’s announcement that day that it was subscribing to a further US$150 million in additional ‘series L’ preferred stock in unlisted Empire Resorts Inc, the holding company of upstate New York casino venue Resorts World Catskills, in the United States.
The Nomura analysts said Genting Malaysia investors were likely to view the move “negatively”, as Empire Resorts “remains loss making”.
But unlike previous capital injections in that business, “this time, we believe that both the timing and the quantum of investment was largely expected and well flagged”.
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