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The Macau Metro Monitor, January 28, 2013

SANDS CHINA GETS APPROVAL FOR 200 NEW TABLES: CEO WSJ, Macau Business

According to LVS CEO Edward Tracy, Sands China has already received official approval for 200 additional live gaming tables.  Tracy didn’t say if the tables would be made available on time for the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts on February 10.

Meanwhile, Mr Tracy also announced today that Sands China would soon raise salaries. But he didn’t provide details.

The second tower of the Sheraton Macao Hotel, located at Sands China’s Cotai Central casino resort, was officially completed today. The tower is however still waiting for government approval to start welcoming guests. Sheraton Macao managing director Josef Dolp, the property could be up and running as early as next month, ahead of the Lunar New Year, pending government approval.

SANDS CHINA ANNOUNCES INTERIM DIVIDEND Macau Business

Sands China declared on Friday an interim dividend of HK$0.67 (US$8.6 cents) per share, payable on or about February 28.

GONGBEI EXPANSION TO BE FINISHED SOON Macau Business

According to the mayor of Zhuhai, He Ningka, the Gongbei border checkpoint expansion could be ready in a few months.  The expansion will almost double the Gongbei checkpoint’s capacity.  It currently handles 260,000 to 300,000 travelers a day, but in the future it will be able to accommodate up to 500,000 crossings. The Gongbei expansion will cost RMB400 million (MOP513 million).

The Barrier Gate, its counterpart in Macau, through which travelers must pass before or after Gongbei, can already handle up to 500,000 people per day. 

EMPLOYMENT SURVEY FOR OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2012 DSEC

Macau unemployment rate for October-December held stable at 1.9% in comparison with the previous period (September-November 2012).  Total labor force was 357,000 and the labor force participation rate stood at 72.4%. Total employment reached 350,000, an increase of 500 over the previous period.