Crown Resorts under positive investor spotlight

Australian investors reacted favourably on the outlook for Crown Resorts, as share prices rallied after reports of gains in revenue at the Macau based offshoot, Melco Crown Entertainment.

The Australian stocks rose by as much as 11 per cent, the biggest jump since 2009 buoyed by the revenue gains in Macau after across the board industry declines over several months.

Positive analysts’ comments and share run came after Melco Crown Entertainment operations reported a gross gaming revenue upturn of 6 per cent week-on-week for the seven days ending January 25.

Stocks in Macau casino operators had lost up to 50 per cent in value over recent months but with commentators saying the recovery in the GGR in January was a clear sign the market had bottomed.

The return to investor popularity comes as Melco Crown (Philippines) Resort Corp’s City of Dreams is due to open next Monday, February 2.

The resort had a ‘soft opening’ mid-December and has already had more than 600,000 visitors, including 20,000 people in the first day alone.

At the same time, Melco Crown announced Thursday that plans for its Macau property include the addition of 9,000 extra staff on top of the 12,000 employees.

The additional workforce comes with the planned opening of the second integrated resort, Studio City, by mid-2015 at a cost of US$3.2 billion. Plans are for the fifth hotel tower of City of Dreams to be opened by 2017.