Macau casino stocks rise after lifting of China quarantine

By Peter Lynch

Macau casino stocks have risen to their highest level in almost two and a half months after the region reopened quarantine-free travel from China.

Macau has gradually been easing quarantine rules on visitors from China amid the ongoing pandemic, with the last of China’s cities now deemed low-risk for transmission with no new clusters in the country. And according to Bloomberg, the lifting of such measures has caused stocks for Macau casinos to rise dramatically.

Galaxy Entertainment Group rose as much as 12%, the most since March 2020, while Sands China Ltd. rose as much as 10%, its biggest gain since December 2018. MGM China Holdings Ltd., Melco International Development Ltd., and Wynn Macau Ltd. meanwhile all saw shares rise around 9%.

“Easing quarantine policy between mainland China and Macau could provide a ground for foot traffic improvement for Macau casinos,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Angela Han Lee. “We now need to watch how the mainland’s policy toward overseas gambling is in March as it does not want Macau to become an infrastructure facilitating that.”

Macau casinos reported gross gaming revenue of MOP8.02bn (US$1.0bn) for January 2021, a 64% decline from the prior-year period, but a 3% rise from December 2020.

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