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The Macau Metro Monitor, June 16th and 17th, 2010

SMOKING TO BE ALLOWED IN CASINOS FOR A THREE-YEAR PERIOD Macau Daily Times

The latest version of the tobacco ban bill draft declares that smoking will be allowed in "venues for adults"--i.e. casinos, bars, terraces and business open areas, massage lounges and dance halls--for a three-year period.  According to Chan Chak Mo, who heads the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly, pressure from several industries led to this decision. “  After two years, the government says that a revision of the law should be done in order to decide if the suspension continues in the third year or not,” added Chan.

GALAXY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP ANNOUNCES CLOSING OF HK$9 BILLION CLUB LOAN Galaxy Entertainment Group

Galaxy has closed its six-year HK$9 billion club loan from a consortium of Asia’s banks.  The loan was upsized to HK $9 billion from HK $8.8 billion.  The lending consortium agreed to undertake a “take and hold” on the loan with no sell down requirement.  The interest rate is HIBOR + 4.5%, substantially below the previous bond rate of 9.875%.


Lui Che Woo, chairman of GEG said: “I am delighted to say that we are in a very strong financial position and that 2010 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for GEG. This club loan, combined with the outstanding credentials of the banks involved, is a clear endorsement of both our future plans and the strength of the Macau market."

MACAU OFFICE TOWER SALE SIGNALS MARKET RECOVERY SCMP

Zhu Kuan Mansion was sold to Cheng Long for HK$701 million in the biggest office transaction in Macau since the global financial crisis began in late 2008. The original owner, Capitalsino Properties, bought the property for more than HK$700 million in 2007.  The transaction price of HK$701 million equates to a price of HK$1,443 per square foot, reflecting an initial yield of 3.5%.

Franco Liu Pui-lam, a consultant at Savills, which brokered the deal, said that the Macau office market and investor sentiment had picked up after a subdued period last year. According to a Savills report, office demand from gaming and related industries will return and office prices and rents will be supported by extremely limited supply as no new projects have been approved by the government recently.