Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And They Say There Is No Collusion ...

You can actually get governments to do certain things. Shares of Macau plays rocketed yesterday, bucking the general market declines, following a report that China has quietly eased restrictions to allow residents of Guangdong province to visit the enclave more frequently.

Industry executives now expect the Macau casino sector to bring in record gaming revenues in October, boosted by the looser restrictions and the upcoming Golden Week holiday, Reuters reported.

Galaxy Entertainment (0027) jumped 9.5 percent to close at HK$3.79, defying a 0.7 percent decline in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Shun Tak Holdings (0242), a Macau- focused conglomerate controlled by the family of Stanley Ho Hung-sun, jumped 9 percent to HK$6.69. SJM Holdings (0880), Ho's casino flagship, rose 5.1 percent to HK$4.52. Melco International Development (0200), which is owned by Lawrence Ho Yau-lung, jumped 7.7 percent to end the day at HK$5.87.

The authorities now allow mainland travelers from Guangdong to visit Macau once a month under the Individual Visit Scheme, instead of just once every three months, Reuters quoted industry sources as saying. The restrictions started to be relaxed 2 months ago and were loosened even further since September 1.

"Gaming revenues for the first two weeks of the month have been good," one executive said. Another unnamed casino executive said September gaming revenues will be "very good" and October will likely set a new record high. Now is it just kind timing or what??? Just when the 3 major operators in Macau have filed for IPOs in HK, we see these restrictions being lifted??!!

Backed by big-name cornerstone investors, the institutional tranche of Wynn Macau's HK$12.6 billion public offering was oversubscribed by up to five times when it started bookbuilding yesterday.

The casino operator attracted six high-profile investors who poured US$250 million (HK$1.95 billion) to subscribe for shares with a six-month lock-up period. They include Lifestyle International (1212) managing director Thomas Lau Luen-hung who subscribed for US$50 million worth of shares and Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) non-executive director Walter Kwok Ping-sheung who is seeking US$20 million worth.

Wynn Macau plans to offer 1.25 billion shares at HK$8.52 to HK$10.08 each, which is 29.4 to 34.8 times its estimated earnings per share of 29 HK cents this year. Wynn Macau's net income slumped 34.8 percent to HK$903.7 million for the first half ended June 30 as Macau's gaming industry contracted.

These developments will pave the way for a spectacular listing of Wynn Macau and Macau Sands - and guess what, Genting Singapore will be an indirect beneficiary, followed by Genting Berhad, but the former is a much better play.

p/s photos: Miwa Oshiro Cocoa

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