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GALAXY LOSES TWO STARS destination-macau.com

Ciaran Carruthers is moving on from his role as StarWorld COO.  The timing of Carruthers’ departure is not believed to have anything to do with Galaxy’s results announcement this week.  DM speculates that the company, guided by the Lui family, is looking to go in a different direction than it had been under Carruthers’ leadership: a more “Vegas-like” direction.  Mike Mecca, a very experienced industry veteran, has been brought in as President/COO and will likely change the corporate culture. 

Some issues confront Mecca almost immediately, such as how to keep the company running smoothly in the absence of Carruthers and the former VP of StarWorld’s casino operations Justin Casey, who also recently ended his time at StarWorld.  Where Mecca will really play a valuable role is in the capital markets; Galaxy needs go to the capital markets in order to fund its Cotai project, according to DM.


CAN SJM BREAK 3BN? destination-macau.com

SJM has been doing well in September, according to DM. Having seen numbers for the first 13 days of the month, DM writes that SJM’s hold percentages seem to have turned around after two weak months. This turnaround has resulted in a gross gaming revenue figure of MOP1.46 billion for the first 13 days – more than MOP100 million per day.  This news comes following the first-half results this week which reported a profit of HK$338 million from HK$571 million in 1H08.  There is still no reliable news on Stanley Ho’s current condition.

SHUN TAK GETS READY TO POUNCE destination-macau.com

Pansy Ho’s Shun Tak Holdings announced this week that its net profit before exceptional gains was up 43% compared to the first half of 2008.  Shun Tak also announced it is raising HK$1.4 billion in convertible debt. The company states that it “will be used for general working capital and to finance new investment opportunities”.  DM speculates that the company may look at buying a bigger stake in STDM.


The declaration of Hengqin island as China’s third state-level strategic development zone should be sufficient to convince skeptics that Zhuhai’s time has finally come.  This is good news for Cotai; while infrastructure development is needed on Hengqin, the Chinese will certainly satisfy that need rapidly.  Hengqin’s population is likely to rocket to more than 120,000 by 2015, from just a few thousand at present.  The Lotus Bridge will have a feeder network and will probably go to the same operating hours as Gongbei.


WYNN MACAU CLEARED FOR IPO destination-macau.com


Following their IPO gaining approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange, Wynn Resorts is under the spotlight in Macau these days.  The Wynn Macau had 8.9% of the table games in Macau but captured 15.4% of the table revenues during the first six months of the year.  The statistics are even more dramatic in slot machines, where the Wynn Macau had 9.7% of the machines, but 23.9% of the revenues. 

The company hasn’t indicated what it plans to do with capital raised from its IPO.  There are tentative plans to develop a 21 hectare site on Cotai but no construction timeline has been outlined.  The company expects strong demand for its offering.  Wynn is hiring 1,000 new staff in Macau for its US$650 million Encore project, which is funded and due to open next spring.