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The Macau Metro Monitor, January 31, 2012

GAMING REVENUE EXPECTED TO GROW OVER 25% IN JANUARY Macau Business

Macau GGR is expected to surpass MOP23 billion (US$2.9 billion) in the month of January alone, up by 25% YoY. According to Lusa News Agency, casino companies expect the number to be between MOP23 billion and MOP24 billion, mainly due to the Chinese New Year holidays.

SANDS CHINA HEARING ON PARCELS 7 AND 8 UNDERWAY Macau Business

The appeal hearing by Sands China on a government decision not to approve the company’s application for a land concession for Sites 7 & 8 is underway.  The first court session took place just before Chinese New Year.  The appeal was submitted in January 2011.

SANDS CHINA DECLARES INTERIM DIVIDEND Sands China

Sands China has announced an interim dividend of HK$0.58 per share.  The interim dividend will be paid on February 28, to those who own shares in the company as of February 20.  Sands has "sufficient reserves, after the payment of this interim dividend, to finance its operations and the expansion of its business, including the development of additional integrated resorts in Macau.”  This is the first dividend for Sands.

WYNN ASKS COURT TO DISMISS OKADA'S REQUEST Macau Business 

WYNN is seeking to have Kazuo Okada’s lawsuit dismissed.  In a court filing, the company says Okada’s allegation that he was denied access to the company’s financial books is “innuendo, hyperbole, half-truths and sweeping generalizations.” WYNN says Okada’s request to access the company’s books are nothing more than stockholder inspection requests. WYNN adds that, under Nevada law, shareholders have no rights to inspect the books “of publicly-owned companies that are timely with SEC filings (as Wynn is).”  Wynn Resorts says that to try to get around this problem, Okada had presented his request as a director rather than a shareholder, a “maneuver” the company expects to be “flatly rejected by the court”.

NEW TOURIST RECORD IN LUNAR NEW YEAR Macau Daily Times, Macau Business

894,400 tourists arrived in the territory during the Chinese New Year holidays (January 21 to 28), up 2.1% YoY and a new record high.  However, in 2011, this period started on a Thursday and as such was a day shorter, going from February 2 to 8.  During the eight days about 1.36 million crossed Macau’s borders, with most of them (about 912,000) using the Border Gate, followed at a big distance by the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal (almost 252,000).  The two last days of the holiday period, January 27 and 28, were also the peak at the MSAR borders.  

MBS GOES TO COURT TO GET BACK $1 MILLION FROM 2 DEBTORS Strait Times

Marina Bay Sands, which is seeking to recover about $1 million in debts from two gamblers, wants to grill one on the witness stand and slap a court notice on the other in his Malaysian home.  In the first of the two separate cases, it wants Octavius Tok to disclose all his assets in court.  The High Court last year ordered Tok to pay a $619,589 bill he racked up at MBS, but he has still not done so.  Tok, a Singaporean, chalked up the bill during a 23-day stay at the hotel last year. It includes charges for 125 bottles of liquor worth a total of $522,481, 5,285 packs of cigarettes, and 62 phone top-up cards.

EMPLOYMENT SURVEY FOR OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2011 DSEC

The unemployment rate for October-December 2011 was 2.1%, down by 0.2% point over the previous period (September-November 2011) - a new record low.  Total labour force was 347,000 in October-December 2011 and the labor force participation rate stood at 72.9%, up by 0.4% points from the previous period.