Ambrose So is the chief executive officer of SJM Holdings Limited since 2002. Dr. So is responsible for execution of the SJM’s strategy and the overall management of the SJM’s business. He serves as the President of Clube Militar de Macau. He joined STDM in 1976 and has over 30 years of experience in the casino business.
The Grand Lisboa Hotel was the title sponsor of a recent Dota 2 tournament held in Macau, held on December 8, 2017. This is the first international eSports competition held in Macau, with nine teams of contestants coming from around the world. As the title sponsor of MDL Macau Dota2 International Elite Invitational, Grand Lisboa […]
SJM Holdings CEO Ambrose So has opened a solo calligraphy exhibition in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, aiming to promote understanding of Macau’s role in bridging the cultures of the east and west. The exhibition is being held at the Centro Cientifico e Cultural de Macau and is entitled: “A Cultural Janus: Macau’s Complexity on Calligraphic […]
SJM chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai said he is encouraged by the number of hotel bookings for Golden Week, expressing his wish that the increased number of visitors will bring in more income. “I can’t forecast [the gaming revenue] but logically this will be good for Macau’s revenue,” said So on Tuesday, quoted by […]
Construction work for the Grand Lisboa Palace resumed on Wednesday, ending a nearly two month suspension at the site, Macau Business reports. Chief executive of SJM Holdings, Ambrose So Shu Fai was speaking to reporters on on the sidelines of the 13th annual SJM Scholarship Awards at Grand Lisboa. “In the meantime, of course, we […]
Casino operator SJM Holdings is hoping to resume construction of its Grand Lisboa Palace development after complying with the changes required by Macau’s Labor Affairs Services, Macau TDM reports. On Wednesday, SJM executive director Ambrose So said that the company has made all the changes required by DSAL, and is now waiting for the green […]
SJM chief Dr. Ambrose So isn’t convinced that the new ATM withdrawal regulations will have an impact on the gaming sector, local media reports. Last weekend, the government announced it was planning to implement new security features at ATMs near casinos which would require holders of China UnionPay cards to scan their identity cards, and […]
SJM Holdings on Tuesday held an opening ceremony for Jai Alai Avenue, a 30,000 square feet cosmetics and beauty retail space. The retail space includes over 60 famous cosmetic brands such as Givenchy, Whoo, Balmain Paris Hair Couture, Canvas Beauty, La Biosthetique, Adore, Odile Lecoin, B.C.A.D, Biellee and IDS, some of which make their debut […]
SJM Holdings has negotiated a HK$25 billion (US$3.2 billion) loan in order to finance the construction of its new Grand Lisboa Palace development. The casino operator on Thursday announced the signing of the syndicated loan facilities agreement, which consists of a HK$15 billion term loan facility with final maturity in 2022, and a HK$10 billion […]
Casino operator SJM Holdings held the opening ceremony of the SJM Recruitment Center on Thursday. Located on the 10th floor of the China Civil Plaza at Alameda Dr. Carlos d’Assumpção, the Center intends to wholly support SJM’s large-scale recruitment in the future. With Hotel Jai Alai operating soon and Grand Lisboa Palace, SJM’s landmark integrated […]
SJM Holdings chairman Dr, Ambrose So says Macau’s gaming market is in need of a “wake up-call.” The SJM chief made the comments during his speech at the Lunar New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner held at the Grand Lisboa on January 27. “What the market needs now is a wake-up call, and for this the […]
Casino Jai Alai’s opening date has been moved to early next year as it wraps up renovation works, reports Macau TDM. The casino, operated by SJM Holdings Ltd. was originally scheduled to open by the end of this year. It first closed for renovations in 2013. In August, SJM chief executive Ambrose So was confident […]
Macau’s Jai Alai complex will have “about 30 to 40” mass gaming tables when it reopens, SJM Holdings executive director, Angela Leong On Kei said on the sidelines of a charity auction and dinner on Thursday. SJM chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai who was also there, added the gaming tables will come from the […]
Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd has reported profit of HK$513 million ($66.1 million) for the third quarter of 2016, up 80.2 percent year-on-year. The significant rise was due to one-off items, including an investment impairment loss of HK$250 million in 15Q3. However, when looking at results for the first nine-months of 2016, the operator […]
SJM is expecting to open their revamped Jai Alai casino by the end of the year as renovation works finish in October, says CEO Ambrose So, TDM reports. Casino Jai Alai was first closed for renovations in 2013. After years of delays, So says all the renovation works should be ready in October. However, the […]
SJM Holdings may close its HK$25 billion loan by early August, said Bernstein in a note. The brokerage quoted media sources indicating that more than 20 banks have joined a credit facility totaling HK$25 billion (US$3.2 billion) to fund SJM’s Cotai development. There may be more banks joining before the closing date of early August, […]
Casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd is planning to apply for 400-500 gaming tables for its Grand Lisboa Palace, local media reports. According to Macau Daily Times, the group’s chief executive officer Ambrose So Shu Fai made the comments last Friday on the sidelines of the European Chamber of Commerce gala dinner, adding the operator would […]
Macau Secretary of Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said it’s too early to tell if Macau’s gross gaming revenue will stop declining, local media reports. “It takes more time to observe the situation,” said the Secretary in Beijing. Leong made the comments on Wednesday this week while attending China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) as […]
Hotel Lisboa had been receiving and investigating complaints from women who were being asked to pay to access a “working room” at the hotel, however it has also been revealed Alan Ho had requested an investigation of those complaints, local media reports. The revelation was delivered by Hotel Lisboa former general manager, Samuel Yeung, who […]
SJM Holding Ltd chief executive officer Ambrose So Shu Fai expects this year to be volatile for business, Lusa reports. The chief executive officer, quoted at a Lunar New Year gathering, said “the year of the goat … was a difficult period for both regional economies and the gaming industry.” “We are going to need […]
SJM Holdings chief executive Ambrose So Shu Fai has said the alleged embezzlement case involving a junket employee at L’Arc Macau casino will not affect the gaming company’s business, according to local media. L’Arc Macau, which opened its doors in 2009, is one of fifteen third-party managed casinos operating under a service agreement with SJM. […]
SJM chief executive Ambrose So announced yesterday the closure of Casino Greek Mythology since Dec. 31, 2015 in order to start renovation works, local media reports. The SJM executive said the casino’s closure is only temporary and is expected to reopen, but did not provide a date. “The hotel and the casino premises are a […]
On the sidelines of the annual charity function and dinner at Grand Lisboa, SJM Chairman Ambrose So Shu Fai said the gaming industry hopes the government will come up with new measures to boost tourism in the region. “The concern for Macau is whether there are too many tourists that would affect local people’s quality […]
The CEO of gaming operator SJM expects the gaming revenue decline will slow down in the fourth quarter, TDM Macau reports. After a poor 15Q3 performance for SJM in which net profit dropped by 80 percent, Ambrose So hopes the fourth quarter will yield more positive results. “We didn’t perform very well in the third […]
SJM Holdings reported a 37.9 percent drop in gaming revenue to HK$11.24 billion ($1.45 billion) in 15Q3 compared to the same period the year before. Adjusted EBITDA during the period decreased by 49.5 percent from 14Q3 to HK$884 million and for the nine months ended September 30 decreased 49.2 percent to HK$3.14 billion. Profit attributable […]
This year marked the thirteenth consecutive year of title sponsorship by Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A. (“SJM”) for the Macau Derby. Directors of SJM, including Dr. Ambrose So and Ms. Angela Leong, celebrated the event with guests and horse fans at the Macau Jockey Club today. In addition to the SJM Macau Derby, SJM […]
SJM Holdings Chief Executive Ambrose So has warned investors not to expect any sharp rebound in Macau casino earnings this year. Speaking from Beijing, where the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference are both meeting this week, the head of the territory’s largest gaming operator by market share tempered his remarks by […]
The CEO of SJM Holdings said his company supports smoking in casinos and that by having designated smoking areas casinos can respect the habits of their players. “SJM does not oppose a full smoking ban. We think that casinos can still install smoking rooms, which is not in conflict with a smoking ban,” Ambrose So […]
Stanley Ho, known as the king of gambling, has formally retired from his post as chairman of SJM Holdings, ending a six-decade career in Macau’s gambling industry.
Macau gaming operators are planning to launch a joint shuttle bus service which will transport customers along the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, local media reports. According to a report from TDM News, SJM vice-chairman and CEO Ambrose So said the service will run from the bridge’s checkpoint building to the ferry terminal and other locations […]
The ongoing ‘trade war’ between the U.S. and China will unlikely have any effect on Macau’s GDP, said SJM executive director and CEO Ambrose So Shu Fai on Thursday, Macau Business reports. Mr. So was speaking on the sidelines of an event on Thursday, explaining that there won’t likely be an effect on MAcau as […]
SJM Holdings said Q1 profit rose 16.5 percent over the prior year to HK$850 million ($108.3 million), driven by mass market revenue.
SJM chief executive officer Ambrose So said he believes a tourism tax imposed on visitors will “certainly affect the city’s tourism,” local media reports. Last week, the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) made an announcement that it is currently studying whether to impose a tourism tax amidst concern the territory may not be able to […]
SJM Holdings reported a 0.7 percent decline in H1 gaming revenue, as growth in the mass market failed to offset a 25 percent drop in VIP revenue.
SJM Holdings reported lower-than-expected Q3 EBITDA as VIP gross gambling revenue tumbled 43 percent in the quarter.
As the first quarter comes to a close, there seems to be little reprieve for Macau’s battered casino stocks, with analysts continuing to cut estimates on the back of weak Chinese New Year revenue and an ongoing stream of negative news. Although the February fall in gross gaming revenue was the worst on record at almost 49 percent, it wasn’t as bad as some had been expecting. Still the consensus is that the market has not reached a bottom as yet. Comments from both analysts and operators continue to reflect longer-term optimism, but agree there remains little near-term visibility. “February was very weak especially given Chinese New Year and a lot of analysts are revisiting their forecasts,” said Alex Bumazhny, an analyst at Fitch Ratings, which this week predicted a 4 percent decline for 2015 GGR. “The market is banking on a slow down in premium mass and on the whole it’s not looking so good for 2015.” It’s also unclear as to whether the regional operators which saw a sharp uptick in Q4 VIP revenue as high rollers fled Macau, will continue to benefit as China pledges no let up in its anti corruption drive. JP Morgan in a recent report cut its earnings and share price target estimates by 25 percent and said it now expects an 18 percent decline in 2015 GGR, while Deutsche Bank issued perhaps the most bearish forecast so far, predicting a 30 percent drop and slapping a sell rating on the Macau five operators apart from SJM Holdings, which was already rated sell. JP Morgan said it doesn’t expect a pick up in share valuations until April, pointing also to a series of regulatory overhangs in the market. Deutsche Bank says the GGR decline may extend into 2016. The Macau government will conduct an interim review of the gaming sector this spring and may provide more clarity on new table allocations to casinos. It is also likely to discuss the issue of inbound mainland visitors with Beijing and whether their movements will be further restricted. The government last year clamped down on transit visas to third country destinations and has said it may review the Individual Visa Scheme. “We believe the market would not give the benefit of the doubt, until such regulatory issues are proven to pass without any significant surprises,” the bank said. Citi is more upbeat, saying it believes the market may be at a turning point, but still sees no signs of recovery in the VIP sector. The firm recently cut its forecasts for 2015 market GGR to negative 16 percent, from its prior estimate for a drop of 4 percent. The Q1 results will follow on from a set of financial statements for Q4 that, while gloomy, were largely in line with expectations. “The results were more or less consistent with what we expected,” Fitch’s Bumazhny said. “Wynn lost some market share and that appears to have continued in Q1 which is a concern.” Wynn Macau, which currently has just one highly VIP focused property, posted the biggest drop in quarterly revenue so far. (Galaxy Entertainment will report on March 19th and SJM Holdings didn’t split out Q4 figures). Net revenues were $761.2 million, a 32 percent decrease from the $1.12 billion generated in the fourth quarter of 2013. Adjusted property EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2014 was $241.2 million, down 35.5 percent. VIP turnover was down almost 40 percent, however the group has been renovating its casino floor which resulted in a drop in VIP tables to 244 in Q4 from 273 in the prior year. That renovation, which includes the addition of two VIP rooms and a new relationship with top junket operator Sun City, was scheduled for completion ahead of the Chinese New Year. Despite the weak Q4 for Wynn, analysts are generally reasonable bullish about its outlook. Sterne Agee’s David Bain wrote in a recent report that his buy recommendation on the stock remains intact and that investors have given little credit for its renovations and still less “to a top tier junket operator occupying one of its rooms that currently does not do business at its facility.” Bain and analysts at Citi also pointed to the fact that the opening of its new Wynn Cotai will be transformational for the company. Citi said the new property is likely to be the “premier” resort on Cotai, although the company indicated in its Q4 earnings call that the opening may be delayed. MGM China’s Q4 was also weaker than most had expected. Revenue fell 22 percent to $719 million, while adjusted EBITDA dropped 22 percent to $185 million. Like Wynn, MGM also cut Macau VIP tables in the quarter to 195 from 235. VIP table games revenue dropped 39 percent, while mass floor revenue jumped 19 percent, reflecting an increase in main floor games up to 228 from 195. UBS analyst Robin Farley points out the mass performance in the quarter was “impressive,” above the firm’s 18 percent growth forecast and the market consensus for a drop of 16 percent. The group said it remains on schedule for the planned opening of MGM COTAI in 2016. The expected total development cost is approximately HK$23 billion, excluding land costs and capitalized interest. It also announced plans to spend $100 million on revamping the main floor at its existing MGM Macau. Sands China as expected benefited from its bias towards the mass market and its higher capacity than other operators. Total net revenue declined 16.2 percent in the quarter to $2.12 billion, while adjusted property EBITDA decreased 14.7 percent to $713.2 million. Mass revenue was down 9 percent, while premium mass was down 17.5 percent. VIP volume was down 42 percent. “In Macau, we like its peer-high weighting to mass gaming (higher visibility and margins than VIP), peer-high hotel room capacity amidst strong visitation growth and gaming position lead in Cotai,” Sterne Agee’s Bain said. The company noted on its earnings call that there is room for improvement to its Q4 margin of 34 percent going forward, as the drop in the mass market was so rapid towards the end of the year that it had not had time to adjust expenses. However, analysts also noted that the company is no longer giving a specific time frame for the opening of its Parisian Macau resort, saying that the target remains “sometime in 2016.” UBS’ Farley says that the U.S. casino giant will need the Macau government to approve more labor to achieve that date. Melco Crown saw its Q4 revenue drop 20 percent, although again analysts are slightly more upbeat about the company’s prospects given the opening of its Studio City property later this year. The consensus view is still that added capacity will drive growth, although Deutsche Bank’s latest note even casts doubt on this theory. The opening of two new gaming venues this year isn’t expected to boost demand, and the market is underestimating pressure on casino operators’ profit margins, the German bank’s analysts noted this week. Melco’s adjusted property Ebitda was down 29 percent to $278.6 million. SJM’s annual gaming revenue dropped 8.8 percent to HK$79.3 billion, but CEO Ambrose So said it had been a challenging year, with a deterioration in the last half. So said that investors should not expect any sharp rebound in casino earnings in 2015, although is cautiously optimistic that revenue will stop falling in the second half of the year. ****** MPE