THE M3: STRONG S'PORE 1Q GDP; CASH HANDOUT; SCC

The Macau Metro Monitor, April 13, 2012

SINGAPORE DOLLAR UP LATE ON MAS TIGHTENING, STRONG GDP GROWTH WSJ

Singapore's 1Q GDP growth came in at 9.9% in seasonally adjusted and annualized terms, higher than the 6.3% median forecast in a Dow Jones poll.  The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) restored a narrower trading band for the local dollar, reflecting reduced tolerance for volatility, while continuing with its policy of a modest and gradual appreciation of the Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate policy band.  There will be no change to the level at which the band is centered, it added.

Along with its policy review, the MAS said it now expects CPI to average between 3.5% and 4.5% this year, higher than its earlier estimate of 2.5%-3.5%.  It said its core inflation measure, which strips out private road transport and accommodation costs, will average between 2.5% and 3% in 2012, higher than the earlier estimate of 1.5%-2%.

GOV'T TO SPEND MOP 4.1 BILLION IN CASH HANDOUT Macau Business

The government will spend around MOP4.1 billion (US$513 million) in this year’s cash handout scheme, which starts on April 24.  Permanent residents will each receive MOP7,000, while non-permanent residents will get MOP4,200.

SANDS COTAI CENTRAL WELCOMES 84,000 VISITORS IN SIX HOURS Macau Business

Sands Cotai Central welcomed over 84,000 visitors during the first six hours of its opening.  In total, Sands China properties – Sands Macao, Venetian Macao, Plaza Macao and Sands Cotai Central – welcomed over 200,000 visitors on Wednesday, the company said.