Macau has annulled a land concession contract awarded to a property developer in the wake of a high profile fraud case. The enclave’s administration rendered Chinese Estates Holdings’ La Scala land concession invalid and it’s being reported that around HK$3.8 billion ($490m) worth of home sales will be affected as a result. Moon Ocean, a subsidiary of Chinese Estates, can object to the decision within the next 15 days and it’s the precursor to the trial of the billionaire controller of Chinese Estates Joseph Lau – which begins on September 17. The company released a statement that read: “The group is currently taking legal advice on the decision notice and the appropriate actions to be taken”. This was widely expected to be the outcome of a case that has rolled on for some time and is related to the corruption and money laundering charges being levelled against Lau.
VIP revenue in the enclave is set to go south for a second consecutive month. Brokerage firm Nomura expect that VIP revenue in August will drop by “mid-single digits” compared with last year whilst at the same time mass-market will be up by the “high teens”. The overall figure they put on gross gaming revenue for the month is between MOP24bn and MOP25bn, and it will have a hard time beating last year’s figure of MOP24.8bn.
Melco Crown Entertainment have been given permission to restart work on the Macau Studio City project. The Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau told Business Daily: “With regard to requests for renewal of the permit for piling and foundation works, they have already been approved by the Administration”. Still no word on whether the venue will include gaming industry facilities with analysts predicting that it should eventually have a casino of some form.