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Macau's December starting weaker than expected

The upcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping and tighter visa controls starting from November is having a stronger effect on Macau GGR than previously expected, according to analysts from Bernstein. 

Both factors have impacted higher frequency higher-end players in both VIP and mass, along with junket agents - leading to significant declines in high-end visitation and GGR, said the analysts. 

For the month so far, mass is expected to be down low single digits year-on-year, while VIP volume is down in the low 30s percent, said the brokerage.

For the month of December, Bernstein said it has reduced its estimates to a decline of -16 to -12 percent year-on-year, vs Bloomberg consensus of -10 percent. 

“The month may be weaker than currently estimated especially if weakness permeates post-Xi’s visit,” said Bernstein.

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