The prospects for Malaysia’s gaming industry are looking “increasingly certain” as the country moves into the endemic phase of Covid, said RHB Research, which has an overweight rating on the sector.
The research firm said its top pick is conglomerate Genting Bhd, with Magnum Bhd its favorite amongst the country’s number forecasting operators (NFOs), according to local media reports.
Genting Bhd will benefit from a recovery at both its Genting Malaysia and Genting Singapore units, as well as the ramp-up of Resorts World Las Vegas. It will also benefit from the high exposure of its plantations unit to rising crude palm oil prices.
“Foreign investors may also find Genting’s regional and U.S. exposure an attractive alternative to the Macau gaming sector,” RHB was cited as saying.
RHB said Resorts World Genting has shown a stronger-than-expected recovery in 4Q21 and although the rise of Omicron will have dampened visitation in February and March, it should see stronger numbers moving forward.
The Malaysian operator reported net profit of RM124 million ($29.5 million) compared with a loss of RM285.1 million in the same quarter a year earlier. There was an 81 percent jump in revenue in the quarter to RM1.88 billion.
Adjusted EBITDA was RM738.1 million, more than four times the level reported in the same quarter last year.
The firm said ticket sales for the NFO operators had been slow in the final quarter, but are now improving and have returned to about 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels.