Good morning. The doubling of the daily bus frequency between Macau and Hong Kong is again reviving hopes of a travel bubble between the regions, something that would boost both non-gaming and mass revenue, and could come about even before Golden Week in October.
What you need to know
- Genting Group’s credit ratings have been downgraded by S&P due to the slower-than-expected recovery in Malaysia, with earnings not seen recovering until 2023.
- HK authorities have busted a suspected money laundering and smuggling ring which they say brought millions of dollars into Macau and Zhuhai via the HKZM bridge.
- Pointsbet said retail investors took up about 8 million shares in its entitlement offer, raising some A$64.2 million, about two-thirds less than its target.
- SkyCity’s New Zealand casinos, F&B outlets, and hotel closures have been costing the company around A$1 million a day as a result of a country-wide lockdown.
On the radar
- Philippines expects to have 70% of its population vaccinated by Feb.
- Tabcorp has formal approval to appoint Janette Kendall to the board.
- Expanding travel avenues by the private sector will boost visitation to Macau.
What the papers say
- Singapore paid lower salaries to expats in 2020, with avg pay down $7,300.
Esports continue to record strong growth and while the mobile sector is gaining momentum in terms of number of vMacau and Hong Kong could be moving closer to a travel bubble, amid reports the number of buses crossing the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is set to double. The so-called Golden Bus will double its frequency from three buses daily to six from Thursday. The bus is the only current transport link between the two SARs, after all ferry services between the cities were suspended in February of 2020. Ben Lee, managing partner of iGamiX Management & Consulting, notes: “Your first sign is the doubling of the buses. Why would Shun Tak (the bus operator) do that with the current volume of people coming from Hong Kong?”