22 March 2019

Revenue forecast lifts most gambling plays to record highs

Investors piled into Macau casino operators, pushing five out of six gambling plays to new highs on Tuesday after Citibank estimated that December gaming revenue in Macau will be 15 percent higher than the same time last year.

Wynn Macau (01128.HK) was best casino performer, ending 3 percent higher for the day. Sands China (01928.HK), MGM China Holdings (02282.HK), Melco Crown Entertainment (06883.HK) and SJM Holdings (00880.HK) rose between 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent. Galaxy Entertainment (00027.HK) added as much as 1.2 percent to hit a record intraday high, but the counter closed 1.34 percent lower for the day.

The Hong Kong market is also waiting to hear whether the US Federal Reserve will start tapering its bond-buying program after it meets for the last time this year. The Hong Kong benchmark Hang Seng Index shed 45 points, or 0.2 percent, to 23,069 points; the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, the main gauge for H shares, slipped 0.35 percent to 10,894; and the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.45 percent to 2,151 points.

Blue chips had a mixed session. Oil major CNOOC (00883.HK) tumbled 3.5 percent and internet giant Tencent (00700.HK) shed 1.5 percent, while consumer goods firmLi & Fung (00494.HK) was up more than 3 percent and insurer AIG Group (01299.HK) climbed 2.2 percent on the day.

China Central Huijin Investment, the central government’s investment arm, raised its A-share stakes in the mainland’s four big banks — Bank of China (03988.HK), Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (01398.HK), Agricultural Bank of China (01288.HK) and China Construction Bank Corp. (00939.HK). But the central bank is keeping a tight grip on liquidity, with the three-month SHIBOR rising 5.35 percent. Agricultural Bank of China gained 0.3 percent, while the other three big lenders had marginal declines for the day.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]



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