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The Macau Metro Monitor, May 15, 2013

SJM COTAI GETS OFFICIAL APPROVAL Macau Business

According to the official gazette, SJM Cotai has gotten the green light.  The company will pay the government a total premium of MOP2.15 billion (US$269 million) for the land.  It has already paid MOP800 million for the land premium.  SJM first filed its request in 2006.

The project was announced in October last year and includes a five-star hotel, a gaming venue and car park. CEO Ambrose So said earlier that he expected that SJM’s Cotai project could break ground this year and be completed by “between 2016 and 2017”.

SANDS ORDERED TO PAY $70 MILLION IN MACAU DISPUTE WSJ

A Nevada jury on Tuesday ordered LVS to pay a Hong Kong businessman $70 million for helping the casino giant enter Macau.  The verdict was the latest development in a long-running legal dispute between Sands and Richard Suen over the role Mr. Suen played in helping the company obtain a casino license in Macau.

Sands spokesman Ron Reese said the company would "aggressively" appeal Tuesday's verdict. The latest judgment followed a retrial of Mr. Suen's lawsuit, first filed nine years ago, against the company after Sands appealed an earlier verdict awarding him $58.6 million.

Suen alleged in his lawsuit that Sands owed him $328 million for introducing company executives to key Chinese officials. Sands officials denied Mr. Suen's claim that his efforts led to the company's securing a license.

CHINA BANKS Q1 BAD LOANS UP, CAPITAL ADEQUACY DOWN-CBRC Reuters

The average non-performing loan ratio in China's banking system edged up to 0.96% at the end of March from 0.95% at the end of 2012, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said.

The weighted average capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of Chinese banks was 12.3% at the end of March, which is not comparable to previous data as tougher bank capital rules were introduced in January this year, the CBRC said.  "According to calculations based on the new rules, the overall capital adequacy ratio has decreased," the CBRC added.

PACKAGE TOURS AND HOTEL OCCUPANCY RATE FOR MARCH 2013 DSEC

Macau visitor arrivals in package tours decreased by 2.0% YoY to 739,091 in March 2013.  Package tour visitors mainly came from Mainland China (533,170), with 199,991 coming from Guangdong Province, followed by those from Taiwan (45,703); Hong Kong (41,859) and the Republic of Korea (40,738).  

In March 2013, the hotels and guesthouses received 915,766 guests, up by 20.4% YoY. The average length of stay of guests held stable from a year earlier at 1.4 nights.