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The Macau Metro Monitor, July 23rd, 2010

SANDS CHINA CEO HAS LEFT COMPANY--SOURCES WSJ

According to a company statement, Sands CEO Steve Jacobs has left LVS. COO Mike Leven will run Sands, helped by Director Irwin Siegel, until a successor is found.  Steven Weaver, who was previously Sands China's president of Asian development, will serve as an adviser.  Although no reason was given for his departure, there was speculation it was due to rifts between him and Adelson, particularly on Jacob's comments regarding casino development plans in Japan.

VISITOR ARRIVALS FOR JUNE 2010 DSEC

Total visitor arrivals surged by 30.6% YoY to 1,904,395 though comparisons were easy given the swine flu pandemic last year.  Visitors from Mainland China increased by 44.7% YoY to 985,127 (51.7% of total visitor arrivals), with 377,491 travelling to Macao under the Individual Visit Scheme, up notably by 62.6% from June 2009 (232,161).

COTAIJET COMPETITOR HAS SJM LINKS Inside Asian Gaming

According to IAG, Ng Fok, a Macau businessman with ties to Stanley Ho, is one of the people behind Macao Dragon.  Mr. Fok is currently chairman of Hotel Presidente Macau, a four-star SJM-licensed casino hotel opposite Wynn Macau on Avenida da Amizade.

From SJM's perspective, motivation to strike a marketing deal with Macao Dragon to drive traffic to SJM-licensed Taipa casinos isn't very strong, given that SJM doesn't own the full economic benefit of the casinos.  However, IAG believes if they do team up, they could target mass market players who want privacy and more affordable hotel rooms on Cotai.  Taipa's SJM casinos could also be marketed to mid-level high rollers as distinctively Chinese-owned and managed properties. 


GDP TO GROW ABOVE 15% FOR THE OVERALL 2010: MONETARY AUTHORITY macaubusiness.com

The Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) said,  “The growing pace of gaming receipts would slow in the second half, while the gradual increase in investment spending would add force to economic growth. As a result, the real GDP growth is expected to exceed 15.0 percent for the whole of 2010.” AMCM also forecasts a below 3.0% jobless rate, 3-4% CPI, and relatively stable local interest rates for 2010.


INFLATION TO GO UP IN 2H10: FRANCIS TAM macaubusiness.com

According to Mr Tam, the appreciation of the RMB and the supply of daily necessities from the Chinese mainland to Macau are the two major factors that will push up inflation in 2H 2010.  Once the inflation rate reaches 3% (based on average figures for a 12-month period), the government will adopt specific measures in a "timely" manner to ease the inflation pressure, added Tam.  For the 12 months ended June 2010, the average Composite CPI rose by 0.97% YoY.

S'PORE Q2 PRIVATE HOME SALES CLIMB UP BY 5.3%; URA  Channel News Asia

Private home sales prices in Singapore slowed down to 5.3% growth in 2Q, compared with 5.6% growth in 1Q.  This was a tad higher than the 5.2% initial forecast reported earlier this month.

S'PORE CPI UP 2.7% IN JUNE Channel News Asia

The 2.7% CPI growth is less than the market forecast of 3.5% growth.

CHINA REGULATOR: BANKS' END-JUNE NPL RATIO FALLS TO 1.3% WSJ.com

CBRC announced yesterday that the average NPL ratio for chinese banks was 1.30% at the end of June, 0.28% lower than at the end of 2009, indicating that the sector remains healthy despite concerns that a slowdown in the economy may damp loan quality in the longer term.


PAGCOR LIKELY TO HONOR FOREIGN INVESTOR DEALS FOR MANILA BAY Inside Asian Gaming

Jay Santiago, Pagcor's new spokesman, said  "We have four proponents which have made commitments to start off construction on the Entertainment City, which is connected to the Bagong Nayong Pilipino.  We are in the process of reviewing the contracts they've entered into, the business models that have been proposed, and we're looking at the lay-out of the project. Chairman Naguiat wants it to be more of a tourist attraction rather than a gambling destination."  The Entertainment City deal was brokered by former Pagcor chairman Efraim Genuino to ensure Aruze didn't pull out of the scheme for an Okada Resort, including casino.

Also, the Resorts World Manila casino and hotel project opposite the Manila International Airport  is under gaming policy review, ordered by President Aquino.