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The Macau Metro Monitor, January 10, 2011

CHINA STAR BUYS SITES IN MACAU macaubusiness.com

Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau SA, the parent company of SJM Holdings, has sold 4 building sites in Macau to China Star Entertainment for HK$550MM.  The deal is pending approval from the Macau government.  The sites are adjacent to Hotel Lan Kwai Fong, Macao Polytechnic Institute, Forum de Macao and Golden Lotus Square.  They will be developed into office units and residential apartments for sale. 

The four sites were granted to STDM by the Portuguese administration, but the company failed to develop them within the agreed deadlines. The government decided to postpone the development period for 36 months commencing from 15 April 2010 (i.e. until 14 April 2013).

CROSS STRAIT TRAVELS UNDER INDIVIDUAL VISIT SCHEME China Daily

Certain Beijing and Shanghai residents may be able to travel to Taiwan under the Individual Visit Scheme starting April 2011.  Authorities on both sides had reached a consensus concerning the pilot scheme and that the preliminary planning is to impose a ceiling on the number of applicants at 500 per day.  An individual tourist visa is valid for three months and allows the holder 15 days on the island each time.


JAPAN PLANS TO OPERATE FLOATING CASINO FROM NAGASAKI TO SHANGHAI Macau Daily News, Nishi Nippon

Huis Ten Bosch intends to start a floating casino between Nagasaki and Shanghai this summer.  The 20,000-30,000 tons luxury ocean liner will target patrons from Mainland China.  Huis Ten Bosch had established a Panamanian company so that it can operate a casino on the ship.  The company invested 20 billion yen into the project and the ship will hold 1,500-1,700 passengers.


SINGAPORE EXPECTS INFLATION TO RISE, ON GUARD AGAINST OVERHEATING WSJ

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said increased Chinese demand and weather-related troubles will likely push up commodity prices, adding to inflationary pressures in Singapore.  Inflation is expected to rise in the first quarter of this year before moderating, he said.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said there would be no need for stimulus measures in Singapore in 2011.  The government expects a "healthy" 4% to 6% GDP growth in 2011 but inflation needs to be watched closely, he added.