China influence to define outlook in SE Asia

    Regulatory risk, political uncertainty and exposure to a Chinese economic downturn will factor into the performance of casino sectors in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines – albeit to varying degrees. From a regulatory perspective, changes in Malaysia and Singapore are unlikely. Malaysia’s gaming sector endured something of an annus horribilis in 2018, headlined by a casino duty rate hike of 10 percentage points to 35 percent of gross gaming revenues. The new rate came into effect on January 1. The change will cut Genting Malaysia’s earnings by 30 percent, according to estimates from Samuel Yin Shao Yang, associate director at Maybank Investment Bank Berhad. The silver lining is that it should be some time until any further changes. “I don’t think there will be much more regulatory risk in Malaysia this year after a horrible year last year,” said Yin. In Singapore, we are also unlikely to see changes to duty rates, which have...

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