THE M3: SINGAPORE GDP UP; MBS LAWSUIT; LVS VIETNAM; CHEAPER GOODS

The Macau Metro Monitor, July 14th, 2010

SINGAPORE GDP SURGES, FORECASTS LIFTED WSJ, SCMP, Channel News Asia,

GDP rose 19.3% YoY in 2Q, accelerating from 1Q's 16.9%.  On an annualized and seasonally adjusted basis, GDP grew 26% in 2Q, higher than the 17.4% forecast in a Dow Jones Newswires survey.  Strong manufactured exports and positive trade data boosted GDP.  The bullish data sent the US$/Singapore exchange rate up to 1.3741.  The Monetary Authority of Singapore won't stand in the way of the local dollar's subsequent rise, a person familiar with the central bank's thinking told Dow Jones Newswires.

But Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry is more cautious about growth going forward, stating "The sluggish final demand in the US and EU has moderated industrial activities and lowered expectations for manufacturing output in the Asian economies. The momentum of the global economic recovery has thus moderated, although a double-dip recession remains unlikely at this juncture."  Nevertheless, the government raised its full-year growth forecast for nominal GDP to 13%-15% from its May estimate of 7%-9%.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the government will be mindful of the economy overheating with the strong growth - which will also mean having more foreign workers.  Mr Lee said: "I believe this year foreign worker numbers will go up in Singapore. It cannot be helped because with the market so tight, if we don't allow the foreign workers in you are going to have overheating."

MBS FILES 2ND LAWSUIT The Strait Times

Marina Bay Sands has filed a second lawsuit against lawyers' group Inter Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) for not paying for their May conference.  This comes despite Adelson recently saying he wants to "make love, not war at MBS".  In this second suit filed on June 28th, MBS is asking for full outstanding amount $641,245.57 owed, or $341,245.57 if it managed to claim the $300,000 it had sued for earlier on May 14.

LAS VEGAS SANDS EYES HO CHI MINH CITY macubusiness.com

Adelson recently said, “I will go visit Vietnam, maybe at the end of July. I have met Vietnamese officials many times in Singapore.  We want to build the same thing as Marina Bay Sands in Vietnam, in the south and in an urban area.... I can only do it on the condition that Vietnamese people are allowed to come in. The problem is that Vietnam does not allow its citizens to get access to the casino. We want to invest in Saigon, but we cannot do that if the government does not allow people to gamble."

Vietnam currently has one casino in Hai Phong City--for foreign tourists only.

SUPERMARKET GOODS CHEAPER macaubusiness.com

According to the Consumer Council’s monthly “Supermarket Price Survey Report”, 44% of 200 supermarket goods were cheaper in July, relative to June.