According to analysts, the potential loosening of visa regulations could positively impact the economy after a flat December
Macau.- After a flat December , analysts expect a potential return to growth fuelled by the loosening of visa constraints. A number of investments analysts have noted that Xi Jinping’s visit to Macau, which involved tighter controls on mainland resident exit visas for travel to Macau, and tighter local security, caused a drop in demand for gambling activities in Macau throughout the month.
Macau’s December GGR slipped 13.7 percent year-on-year according to data released on January 1 by the city’s government.
Now, according to Bernstein, Macau GGR for the first five days of the month is estimated to be MOP4.1 billion (US$512.4 million), with MTD ADR at MOP820 million, up 2 percent year-on-year. The loosening of visa constraints, the believe, could be a driver of better results come the end of the month.
“One key driver of the January result will be how the visa constraints that were in place in November and December are being loosened,” said analysts Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu.
“If we see continued tight visa controls in place, the GGR impact will be more negative than we currently forecast.”