Macau stocks suffer second day of double-digit losses as Covid spreads

Macau casino concessions

Stocks in Macau’s gaming operators suffered a second day of double-digit losses in Hong Kong trading as China’s Covid outbreak spread, forcing the lockdown of at least 37 million people. 

The worsening situation on the Mainland has caused Macau to further tighten entry restrictions to a growing number of Chinese cities and regions, including reintroducing quarantine requirements from the worst-hit areas, which include a zone in the border city of Zhuhai.

The latest outbreak has led analysts to write down their forecasts for gross gambling revenue this month, with Bernstein now saying that GGR could be at least 86 percent lower than in the same month of 2019, with the impact likely to spread into April, or even May. 

China is seeing its highest caseloads since the initial outbreak in Wuhan and has shown no sign of moving away from its zero-Covid strategy. About 37 million people are now estimated to be living under lockdowns, including the whole province of Jilin in the northeast of the country. The southern city of Shenzhen, which is home to 12.5 million people as well as some of China’s largest manufacturing companies, is also locked down.

The wider market was not spared on Tuesday, with widespread losses in the stocks of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong. The lockdowns have coupled with indications that Beijing may be willing to provide financial assistance to Russia, raising fears of further trade tension with the U.S.

Bloomberg have estimated that the lockdowns affect about half of China’s gross domestic product and risk further straining already disrupted global supply chains. 

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which tracks Chinese shares traded in Hong Kong, sank 6.6 percent to its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis, while the Hang Seng Index of Hong Kong blue-chip stocks was down 5.7 percent.

Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment were in the list of the worst-performing Hang Seng stocks, falling 12.3 percent and 11.4 percent respectively. It’s the lowest level for Sands since 2010

SJM Holdings fell 9 percent, MGM China lost 11 percent and Wynn Macau was down 15 percent. Melco Resorts & Entertainment stock, which is listed on the NASDAQ, was indicated lower in pre-market trading and has lost 72 percent of its value in the past year.