The Macau Metro Monitor, March 17th, 2010



Macau's CEO Chui wants casino operators to solidify development plans on government-granted land--or risk losing it. Chui said, "The government will follow legal procedures... The whole process will be made very transparent, but the land has to be taken back and some of it will be used for social housing." Chui had mentioned a plan to build 19,000 public-housing apartments by the end of 2012. The warning from Chui reinforces concerns over construction delays in Macau and discounts the notion that casino operators will receive favorable treatment. Also, his words may be directed towards Sands China, which despite building some of Macau's largest properties, still has a number of vacant sites in Cotai. Another stalled project, called Macau Studio City just south of Sands China's massive Venetian Macao resort, has been bogged down in legal disputes for over a year.



Chui did not go into extensive details on how the government will regulate the size and growth rate of Macau's gaming industry. Chui reaffirmed the intention to outlaw slot-machine parlors in residential areas, saying existing venues will have to move. Meanwhile, starting at the end of this year, the government will conduct an audit of gaming operators, to evaluate their compliance with basic internal control procedures.


According to the South China Morning Post, interest in Macau real estate is picking up as Hong Kong property agents  such as Midland Realty and Centaline Property Agency plan to increase their presence in Macau by adding branches and staff. A newcomer, Hong Kong Property, plans to invest HK$5MM in its Macau expansion. Experts believe the resumption of Las Vegas Sands construction projects on the Cotai Strip along with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge will help to stimulate the market. Stanley Poon, managing director of the Centaline Property’s Macau office, expects home prices to grow 15% in 2010.

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