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BOTTOM LINE KEY AS GALAXY COMES DOWN TO EARTH scmp.com

Galaxy Entertainment is weathering the current financial storm by adopting a more prudent growth strategy to suit demand.  One example of this is the slowing of the construction of its HK$10 billion Cotai mega-resort.  Executive Francis Lui Yiu-tung told the SCMP that Galaxy would be patient and wait for "more solid trends developing in the market before we pull the trigger".  

For now, the company is focused on the bottom line; 2,400 gaming staff recently received an effective 13.3% pay cut.  Galaxy has also bought back US$200 million in its own bonds at a 50% discount.  Mr. Lui calls for infrastructure improvements to drive visitors to the Cotai resorts.  Many are viewing the performance of City of Dreams as a leading indicator of the future development of Cotai.

SO, WHO HAS BEEN HIT destination-macau.com

Although revenue-share numbers leaked by the DCIJ show that the Macau market was down 17% in June compared to last year, compounding worries about swine flu, cancellation of "zero-cost" tours, and the economic crisis, there is reason to be optimistic.  Despite gaming revenues for the first half of 2009 being down 12%, the half-yearly trends from 1H07 through 1H09 have followed a positive trajectory.  The first half of 2008 was an anomaly, so 1H09 saw negative growth year-over-year, but the positive long-term trend remains intact. 

Destination Macau cites commentary from "casino bosses around town" stating that the 400,000 less visitors in May 2009 didn't hurt business too much.  It is likely that this was low-end traffic made up for by VIP volumes.

TWO NEW IMPORTED CASES, NINE FULL RECOVERIES macaudailytimesnews.com

Two new imported cases of the A-H1N1 flu were detected yesterday, bringing the total number of cases to fifty-six.  Nine people have been released from quarantine, having recovered from the flu.  Presently, there are one hundred-and-twenty-four people receiving domestic medical observation. 

The pandemic alert in Macau is at level 6, while the World Health Organization's pandemic alert remains at phase 6, with a moderate severity.