Stocks in Macau casino business companies rose ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday next week. Whilst everyone who’s everyone descends on London for a week of partying much of Mainland China is expected to decamp to the enclave for some good old-fashioned gambling. It meant MGM China’s shares increased by almost 7% (6.9%) representing their biggest intraday rise since early November. The company that owns the enclave’s newest casino, Galaxy Entertainment Group, saw shares up 5.8% with Wynn Resorts rising 5%. The other companies operating in Macau saw similar raises with Sands China (4.4%), SJM Holdings (3.4%) and Melco Crown (3%) all up ahead of the holiday. Edwin Fan, analyst at Bank of China International in Hong Kong said: “Investors are expecting the footfall in Macau casinos to rise during the Chinese New Year.”
The feel good mood in Macau was strengthened by the region’s yearly visitor arrivals being confirmed. The Statistics and Census Service figures confirmed preliminary data on arrivals showing a rise of 12.2% at a new record high of 28 million for 2011. Breaking it down, visitors from the Mainland accounted for 16.1m, a rise of 22.2%, whilst the number of same day visitors stood at 15m.
Casinos are pushing up arrivals in another part of South East Asia with Singapore’s rise of 11.4% in passenger traffic is thanks to the country’s two casino business locations. Changi Airport Group owns the airport of the same name and commented: “December 2011 was Changi Airport’s busiest month ever with 4.53 million passenger movements.”
The company told Reuters increased tourism had much to do with the rise as the country continues to try and become Asia’s very own Monte Carlo. Now just got to make sure James Bond can bring all his gadgets through airport security!