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Macau Gambling Gain Sparks Rally in Billionaire’s Melco

Macau Gambling Increase Triggers Rally in Melco
Pedestrians walk past the City of Dreams complex, operated by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., in Macau, China. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., the casino venture controlled by billionaire James Packer and Lawrence Ho, advanced in Hong Kong trading after data showed better-than-estimated casino revenue in Macau.

Melco’s Hong Kong-listed shares rose 1.3 percent to HK$104.20 as of 11:22 a.m. The American depositary receipts of Melco climbed 5.7 percent to $40.84 in New York yesterday, the most in two months. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in the U.S. added 1.8 percent at 100.95, gaining for a fourth day. Real-estate brokerage E-House China Holdings Ltd. rallied 4.7 percent.

Macau casino revenue, which reached a record in February, climbed 13.1 percent to 35.5 billion patacas ($4.4 billion) in March from a year earlier, according to the city’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. Estimates in a Bloomberg News survey ranged from an increase of 10 percent to 13 percent. Melco plans to lure 8,000 people to work at its third casino resort in Macau as operators expand to attract more gamblers.

“Certainly the numbers were decent,” Bryan Maher, an analyst at Craig-Hallum Capital Group LP, said in a phone interview from Minneapolis yesterday. “As infrastructure improves, the mass-market players have an easier time getting into Macau.”

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in Hong Kong lost 0.5 percent to 10,054.65 today. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent to 2,056.

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