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THE M3: SANDS CHINA FOREIGN WORKERS; BELLE; EMPLOYMENT; IMPORTED WORKERS; PAGCOR; CHINA PROPERTY

The Macau Metro Monitor, October 18th 2010

SANDS TO GET APPROVAL TO HIRE FOR MACAU PROJECT WSJ

According to a source, the Macau government has told company officials that construction companies employed by Sands China should receive approval to hire the 5,000 foreign workers they need to immediately restart work this month.  This may imply a mid-2012 opening date as construction companies, once they are given the green light, need one month to recruit workers and Sands said that it would take approximately 16 months to complete the first phase of the project once it had "sufficient labor to ramp up construction activity to requisite levels."  The company in August said it hopes to open the Cotai project in Q4 2011.

Many Macau residents believe that labor restrictions have had unintended consequences such as delaying construction projects unrelated to casinos and placing foreign labor quotas on businesses.  It remains unclear if allowing Sands China to hire foreign construction workers would prompt a territory-wide relaxation of labor regulations.

BELLE IN TALKS WITH 3 OVER CASINO BUSINESS  Manila Standard Today, Manila Times

Belle Corp hopes to reach an agreement with a casino operator for its $350 million hotel/casino project with 250 tables and 1,500 slot machines in the Philippines by November.  Belle's operating partner, Leisure and Resorts World Corp (LRWC), said it was in talks with three interested operators, two of whom have already established a presence in the Asian gaming market, particularly in Macau and Singapore.  The front-runner had been Harrah's, but negotiations faltered.  Belle's CFO Manuel Gana said “Our original schedule of start of commercial operation is by the first quarter of 2012. But if we can open by the third quarter of next year, we will do so."  Gana added that Belle had started constructing the infrastructure required by the project pending the selection of a foreign casino operator.


Q3: TOTAL NUMBER REGISTERED FOR SEEKING EMPLOYMENT FELL BY 27% Macau Daily News

According to DSAL, total number of people registered for seeking employment in Q3 fell 27% QoQ to 3,681. 

IMPORTED WORKER NUMBERS CONTINUES GROWTH TREND Macau Daily Times

For August, non-resident workers increased by 2% MoM to 73,719.  Mainland China continued to be the main source of imported labor, registering 41,126 people, followed by the Philippines (11,096), Vietnam (7,439), Indonesia (4,137) and Hong Kong (4,102).  The entertainment and gaming sector hired the most foreign workers in the reporting period (plus 967 in August).  The construction sector added 67 foreign workers, with a total of 3,800.


PART PRIVATIZATION FOR PAGCOR? Asian Gaming Intelligence

AGI said there is a new proposal to partially privatize the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) by floating up to 49% of PAGCOR stock on the Manila stock exchange.  The proposal from a vice-chairman of San Miguel Corp to sell PAGCOR to the private sector is no longer considered.


CHINESE PROPERTY PRICES REBOUND WSJ

China's property price index, which covers 70 large and medium-sized cities, rose 0.5% in September from August, and 9.1% YoY, said the National Bureau of Statistics.  This registers as the first MoM increase since May.