Gaming operator shares plunge after partial lockdown

Share prices of the city’s gaming concessionaires have tumbled during today’s (Monday) Hong Kong Stock Exchange session, the first day the city shut down non-essential activities, including casinos.

The worst affected company was Melco International Development Ltd, which saw its shares fall 7.13 per cent, while shares of Wynn Macau Ltd closed down 6.68 per cent and those of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) Holdings Ltd fell. 6.65 per cent.

SJM operates the Grand Lisboa casino, which has been closed since July 5th with around 500 employees and guests inside due to an outbreak of covid-19.

Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd shares also lost 4.93 per cent in today’s session, while MGM China Holdings Ltd dropped 5.36 per cent.

Macau closed, all non-essential commercial activities until July 18, including casinos, also imposing the mandatory use of KN95 or “higher standard” masks.

According to an order from the chief executive, entities that “provide essential public services”, such as the supply of water, electricity or public transport, are excluded from the new measure.

Markets, supermarkets, pharmacies, healthcare establishments and restaurants are also exceptions to the new rules.

“All people must remain at home, except for reasons of necessary work and purchase of basic goods for daily life or for other urgent reasons”, the order also notes.

Violation of these rules can be punished with a prison sentence of up to two years or a fine of up to 240 days.

On Sunday, a new series of four rounds of massive testing of the population began to control the current outbreak of covid-19, which has left two dead and more than 1,500 infected.

With this new round, the number of massive tests will total ten in a single month.

The population is also obliged to carry out daily antigen tests and upload the image with the result to an ‘online’ platform.

Thousands of people are quarantined in hotels and parts of the city are isolated, a number that is also growing daily.

The authorities have stressed that they follow Beijing’s policy of zero cases, but they are, for now, moving away from the scenario of general confinement, a usual practice in the interior of China.