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The Macau Metro Monitor, June 28th, 2010

IRs BOOST TOURISTS Straits Times, Reuters, STB

Singapore had 946,000 visitors in May, a 30.3% YoY growth. It is the highest ever recorded visitation number for May. Singapore has now seen record numbers for the months of December 2009 to April 2010.  Arrivals from Indonesia, India and Malaysia continue to lead with 186k, 116k, and 82k, respectively.  Hong Kong (48.8% YoY), Malaysia (48.7% YoY), and Taiwan (47.4%) visitors had the highest growth.

In other news, average occupancy rate grew to 85%, up 17.1% from last year, and hotel room revenue has soared 45.2% YoY. In addition, Singapore's Changi Airport, Asia's fifth-busiest, saw traffic increase 21.6% YoY, its highest monthly percentage growth in six years.  "The increase in passenger traffic was partly driven by the Vesak Day long weekend and the beginning of the mid-year school holidays at the end of May," Changi Airport Group said in a statement.

BYE, BYE SUBSIDY SCHEMES macaubusiness.com

The Macau government’s “Four Percent Home Purchase Loan Interest Subsidy Scheme” and the “Home Purchase Guaranteed Loan Scheme”, both introduced in June 2009, will expire today.  It is believed that the government will not extend either scheme.

The “Four Percent Home Purchase Loan Interest Subsidy Scheme” was a scheme providing a subsidy for the interest payments on the monthly loan installments, with the highest subsidized rate being 4% per year.  The “Home Purchase Guaranteed Loan Scheme” was a scheme mainly assisting permanent residents of the Macau SAR to purchase their houses by guaranteeing the bank loan.  Both schemes were only available for housing units whose bank evaluated selling price was below MOP2.6 million.


EMPLOYMENT SURVEY FOR MARCH-MAY 2010 DSEC

The unemployment rate for March-May 2010 was 2.9%, down by 0.1% over the previous period (February-April 2010).  Total labor force was 326,000 in March-May 2010 and the labor force participation rate stood at 71.5%, up by 0.4% from the previous period.  The number of the unemployed persons held stable at 9,600.