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Gaming Companies to Benefit From Philippines-China Ties

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MANILA, Philippines – Listed gaming companies in the Philippine Stock Exchange will benefit from the country’s re-engagement with China as more mainland tourists from the latter are anticipated to visit.

The optimism was developed following President Duterte’s state visit to China a couple of weeks ago, which was participated by 400 businessmen.

Belle Corp. is high-end Tagaytay Highlands’ and City of Dreams Manila’s premier developer. The company’s Vice Chairman and Executive Director, Willy Ocier, stated that the group remains positive that there will be more Chinese tourists to come in the Philippines.

Ocier added that visa requirements for Chinese tourists would likely be relaxed, encouraging them to come in the country.

COL Financial, a listed market research firm, reported that the increasing number of Chinese tourists would boost gaming firms’ revenues. Among top benefactors are Bloomberry (BLOOM), Melco Crown (MCP), and Resorts World Manila (RWM). BLOOM and MCP will benefit the most because they cater to VIPs.

Revenues from the VIP market account for 49.5 percent of Bloomberry’s gaming returns in the first half of 2016. On the other hand, 43.1 of Melco Crown’s gaming revenues are contributed by VIP players.

For Resorts World, VIP market represents 36.6 percent of the company’s total revenue.

COL added that SM and Store Specialists Inc. (SSI), which are top retail companies, will concentrate on discretionary products given the expected growth in tourism.

With a boost on tourism, the dining industry will also gain more from Chinese visitors.  Ocier is hoping for tourists to find their ways to the country’s variety of resorts for entertainment and dining experience.

Chinese tourists’ increase will also boost revenue of Cebu Pacific due to higher volumes of passengers. The popular budget airline is owned by John Gokongwei.

Nonetheless, COL clarified that Cebu Pacific’s ability to take advantage of the strong transport demand will be limited temporarily. This is irrespective of Manila airport operating at full capacity.

Justino Calaycay of A&A Securities added that the President’s state visit to China will boost tourism among other segments in the country.

In the past four years, the number of China tourists increased by 19.2 percent. Additionally, arrivals climbed to 484,567 in the first eight months of the year, which is a 50.3 percent increase.

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