China is studying supportive measures for Macau to revive the city’s economy, and its casino industry, the Macao Daily reported on its website Friday, citing Li Gang, director of the Chinese government’s local liaison office. No specific measures were announced but it is expected that any moves will be geared towards reviving tourism and the mass market.
“Easing of visa restrictions, easier border crossing measures and continued infrastructure improvements could be a few that come to mind,” Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets gaming analyst Steven Wieczynski told investors. “We still expect the VIP market to remain constrained,” Wieczynski said. “However, anything that the government does to support the growth on the mass side should be viewed positively.”
Casino operators led gains in Hong Kong as Macau’s monthly gaming revenue fell in line with forecasts, suggesting the gambling hub’s 16-month slump is stabilizing. SJM Holdings Ltd, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd jumped more than 7 percent. The benchmark Hang Seng Index advanced 2.7 percent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fluctuated, heading for a 0.5 percent weekly advance. The index capped its biggest quarterly retreat in four years on Wednesday. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.1 percent after the gauge struggled to eke out a third straight advance on Thursday. The index fell as much as 1 percent last session before ending 0.2 percent higher.