Macau casino operators saw a recovery in gaming revenues at the start of the Lunar New Year, but analysts said the outlook is not likely to be sustainable as the industry moves into a low season in March.
Gaming revenue in the former Portuguese enclave reached 8.8 billion patacas in the first 14 days of this month, similar to the level last year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Wednesday, citing data from Deutsche Bank AG.
That’s an improvement compared with double-digit declines in the previous months, the report said.
However, the revenue gain may not be sustainable as it is driven mainly by a rise in visitor arrivals, Deutsche Bank said.
The number of visitors to the city rose 4.3 percent in the first seven days of the Lunar New Year, compared with a year ago. Arrivals from mainland China increased 4.5 percent during the period.
The German lender estimates the gaming revenue will decrease 5 percent in March from a year earlier, which is not so bad compared with a 21 percent year-on-year slump in January.
Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., meanwhile, forecasts a stable year for gaming counters in 2016, particularly for those with healthy financials such as Sands China Ltd. (01928.HK).
Sonny Yeung Hoi-sing, chairman of Success Universe Group Ltd. (00487), said the company has no plans to expand its Macau operations this year but will strengthen its offline lottery ticket business in the mainland.
Hoffman Ma Ho-man, deputy chairman of Success Universe, said Macau is unlikely to see a significant rebound in gaming revenue in the short term.
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