THE M3: TAM COMMENTS; MGM CHINA; MPEL PHILIPPINES RAISES FUNDS; CPI

The Macau Metro Monitor, March 21, 2013

POLICY SECRETARY SAYS MACAU GAMING INDUSTRY OUTDOES RIVALS Macau News

Secretary Tam said that the local gaming industry was developing into an international leisure tourism centre, adding that the industry had already built a solid foundation and created competitive advantages in the leisure-tourism segment so that he was confident that it would not fall behind its rivals elsewhere.  When asked by reporters for his comments on the possible impact on the local gaming industry after it was reported that a newly opened mega-casino in Manila would be paying higher commissions than its local counterparts to attract local junket operators, Tam said it was to be expected that the local gaming industry would have more and more competition from rivals in neighbouring countries and regions.

MGM CHINA NOT INTERESTED IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR NOW: BOWIE Macau Business

MGM China’s CEO Grand Bowie says the firm is “unlikely” to invest in the Philippines “at this time” and prefers to stay focused on the construction of its Cotai project.  Referring to the Philippines reportedly wanting to take over as the world’s gaming capital by 2017, Bowie said that more competition is actually good for Macau, but it was more important for the city’s operators to focus on quality service, easier access and catering to the needs of consumers.

MELCO CROWN TO RAISE FUNDS FOR MANILA CASINO Macau Business
Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp, the Philippines unit of MPEL, plans to raise up to US$400 million (MOP3.2 billion) from a fresh equity offering to fund part of the operator’s investment in its Manila casino.  In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Melco Crown said it planned to raise funds from the sale of up to a billion common shares of the company with an option to upsize by up to 20%, Philippine Daily Inquirer reports.

According to Willy Ocier, vice chairman of Belle Corp., the facility would be operating by "probably June or July, mid-2014," UPI news agency reported, quoting the Philippine Star newspaper.  The report also described the scheme as costing US$1.3 billion, instead of the previously reported US$1 billion.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX FOR FEBRUARY 2013 DSEC

Impact of Lunar New Year pushed up Macua CPI for February 2013 6.16% YoY or 1.04% MoM.