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The Macau Metro Monitor, June 22nd, 2010

STILL TOO SOON TO CALL JUNE Intelligence Macau

According to IM, yesterday's MOP10BN revenue number from Macao Daily was for 20 days, not 16. Extrapolating this run rate would result in MOP 14BN for June.  In addition, unsurprisingly, the baccarat tables have cooled since the Dragon Boat Festival.

STRONGER YUAN COULD HARM LOCAL ECONOMY Macau Daily Times

Two Macau economists, Sales Marques and Henry Lei, warned that even though a stronger Yuan would translate into higher purchasing power for Chinese tourists, the imports from mainland China would be more expensive, pushing up Macau’s inflation.

On one hand, the gaming, restaurant, and retail sectors would all gain from a stronger Yuan.  Marques explained that the local currency is pegged to the Hong Kong dollar and, consequently, loosely pegged to the US dollar. With a more flexible Yuan-US dollar exchange rate, the Pataca would “lose value” in comparison with the Yuan; as such, Macau would become “an even cheaper destination” for mainland Chinese tourists, he said.

On the other hand, higher prices “could discourage the consumption of Mainland tourists,” Henry Lei said. Lei said that over 50% of products in Macau come from China; in 1Q 2010, mainland China represented more than 30% of the total Macau imports.

MORE AND MORE PUBLIC WORKERS macaubusiness.com

In the first quarter of 2010, 230 new workers were admitted.  As of the end of March 2010, Macau had 22,226 public sector workers (half with temporary contracts).