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MACAU BUSINESS


GAMING REVENUE Over the border, new home prices have continued to rise as of October despite a slowing trend, while some agencies predict home prices will turn a corner next year in Mainland China. S&P Global Ratings forecasts residential property


prices on the Mainland will fall 5 per cent next year, while securities firm China International Capital Corporation anticipates a decline of as much as 10 per cent. The latter also said that 2019 will be a ‘year of recession’ for the Mainland real estate sector, with sales to fall for the first time in five years, financial news agency Bloomberg reports. Gregory Ku Ka Ho, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle Macau, points out that the recent bear calls in the property market in the region are due to the ongoing trade war between China and the US But he believes that Macau property will remain resilient as long as the local tourism and gaming industry – the cornerstones of the economy – remain robust. “If there aren’t any changes to the policies [of Beijing], the Macau economy will remain safe and sound despite the fluctuations,” he maintains. The last downswing in local real estate dates back


to 2015-2016, due to slumping gaming revenue of more than two years over a slowing economy and a widespread anti-corruption campaign on the Mainland. The monthly tally of gross gaming revenue has been on a rising tack since August 2016, when a losing streak of 26 straight months was reversed. Growth in the gaming sector, however, has slowed since the second quarter as the VIP segment has been hit by the weakening property market and lower economic growth on the Mainland. The growth of overall monthly gaming revenue in September and October slowed to 2.8 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively, the worst performance since the sector’s recovery two years ago, underscoring how the lacklustre Mainland economy and trade war have weighed on the gambling enclave. Believing that the Macau home market will


remain steady in the meantime, Mr. Ku strikes a cautious note, observing: “As long as the gaming sector doesn’t slump, the home market will not go down.”


24 JANUARY 2019


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