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Old June 25th, 2016, 07:49 PM   #421
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Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge expected to boost hotel industry
23 June 2016
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

The future landscape of the hotel market in Hong Kong and Macau was discussed yesterday at the Business Luncheon of American Chamber of Commerce in Macau at the St. Regis hotel.

The speaker, Chun-Kong Lau, international director and head of Valuation Advisory Services of Jones Lang LaSalle Limited, emphasized the importance of tourism in the growth of Macau’s economy.

Lau stressed that Macau has a lot to offer, especially now that the hotel rooms in the region have increased in number and improved in quality over the years.

He noted that the number of luxury hotel rooms in Macau has already overtaken that of Hong Kong.

“The room size itself and the facilities [that are] offered in the hotels have a lot of attractions and these appeal to the visitors, no matter [visitors from] Hong Kong, China or overseas,” the real estate expert said.

Lau added that attracting high-rollers was the “right move” for the city, given the current trend of more wealthy tourists investing in “creating good experiences.”

He said that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-*Macau Bridge (HKZMB) will play a vital role in encouraging visitors from across the Pearl River Delta to visit Macau, as the traveling time and costs will both be reduced.

The HKZMB is expected to help generate non-gaming revenues in the city, as incoming tourists will be attracted to larger retail spaces and the food and beverage offerings at the city’s hotels.

Lau also commended the local government for driving innovation in its creative industries.

“These are all non-gaming [activities and] all of these would be able to help Macau to grow further. These will help diversify the economic base,” Lau stressed.

Although Lau believes that the bridge will create several economic benefits, he is unsure whether it will generate a “significant or large amount” of income. The three regions have invested a staggering sum of over HKD110 billion in the bridge to date.

The discussion also focused on the significance of the region’s MICE industry. Events facilities and convention halls like the Cotai Arena are already a major attraction for several guests.
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Old November 18th, 2016, 01:07 PM   #422
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MGM Cotai to open in the second quarter of 2017
Macau Daily Times Excerpt
November 8, 2016



MGM China confirmed yesterday that its Cotai resort will open in the second quarter of 2017.

The resort’s budget remains approximately HKD24 billion.

“We believe it [MGM Cotai] will be well received by the market and we are confident to capture the growth opportunities of Macau,” stated Grant Bowie, chief executive officer and executive director of MGM China.

The gaming operator also announced its unaudited results for the third quarter. The company recorded total revenue of HKD3.9 billion, an increase of 11 percent from the second quarter of 2016. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was up 24 percent from Q2 to HKD1.3 billion.

During Q3, the main floor table games win increased by 13 percent from the previous quarter, compared to Macau’s mass-market growth of approximately 8 percent. Hotel rooms achieved an occupancy rate of 95.7 percent. VIP table games win increased 3 percent from the second quarter of 2016.
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Old November 19th, 2016, 11:52 AM   #423
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Parisian (just completed)


20161103 Photo 050 by flicka.pang, on Flickr
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 04:02 AM   #424
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Bill to ban construction in Coloane vetoed for the third time
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

For the third time, a proposal that aims to protect Coloane’s environment in a more meaningful way has been rejected in the Legislative Assembly. The motion was supported by 11 lawmakers and opposed by 20.

According to Macau law, there are 198,060 square meters in Coloane that are included in the city’s protection area. This area exists to protect the region’s science, ecosystem, and education fields.

José Pereira Coutinho proposed the law be extended so that it will ban the construction of buildings in Coloane’s legally protected lands.

Song Pek Kei voiced concerns about how the neighborhood, more specifically the Seac Pai Van’s public housing residents, will be treated once the law is passed.

According to Coutinho, it has not yet been revealed to the public how much land is still under the protection of the law. He noted that many years have passed since the law’s first establishment by the Portuguese administration.

“Coloane is the backyard of Macau. Besides Zhuhai, Coloane is the only relatively green place in Macau that local residents can visit,” said Leong Veng Chai, who remarked that even the pandas live in Coloane. “If buildings are to be built in Coloane, where are the pandas going to go?”

Ho Ion Sang also expressed his opinion on the bill. Ho said “I am willing to protect Coloane,” although he still has many doubts over the details regarding an article on preventing construction in the area.
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Old November 25th, 2016, 05:14 AM   #425
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Beijing frees up more land for Macau development projects
Commentator and Macau observer said move had “tremendous economic and political *implications
South China Morning Post Excerpt
November 24, 2016

Macau – one of the smallest and most densely-populated cities on the planet – looks set to get a little bit bigger as Beijing ramps up its drive to turn the casino town into a mass-market international tourism hub.

A top mainland development official has said that more land – over and above the 5 sq km of mainland real estate already set aside on Hengqin Island for the former *Portuguese enclave – was on offer

The reverse land grab – which was not quantified – follows a visit by Premier Li *Keqiang two months ago, during which he heaped praise on the city’s efforts to diversify its economy.

It also coincides with this week’s announcement that just short of HK$11 billion of public money is to be pumped into an *expansion of Hong Kong’s Disneyland theme park on Lantau which in the near future will be connected to Macau and Zhuhai by a road bridge.

Speaking this week at the 2016 Guangdong-Macau Industrial Cooperation Park meeting, in *Macau, a senior mainland development official said an as yet unspecified amount of land was available for Macau developments.
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Old December 2nd, 2016, 11:04 AM   #426
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2016.10.26 Taipa Walk 2 by Tony Lei, on Flickr
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Old December 4th, 2016, 05:27 PM   #427
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Macau_LRT_MPA_5 by Macau PhotoAgency, on Flickr

Macau_LRT_MPA_2 by Macau PhotoAgency, on Flickr

Macau_LRT_MPA_7 by Macau PhotoAgency, on Flickr
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Old December 10th, 2016, 03:39 PM   #428
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New Hengqin border facilities to be completed in six years
December 7, 2016
Macau Daily Times



The Zhuhai authorities have initiated the construction of an integrated border transit center at the Hengqin border. According to Macao Daily News, Zhuhai has invested RMB26 billion in the new facilities, which will be located on Zhuhai’s side of the border. Construction works are scheduled for completion in six years. Occupying a total of 1.21 million square meters, Zhuhai’s new border facilities will have 14 manual checkpoints and 60 automatic checkpoints, 11 of which will be for buses and six for cargo. The Zhuhai government expects the new facilities to have the capacity to handle 220,000 passengers per day.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 05:12 AM   #429
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Light Rapid Transit : Gov’t admits no idea of passenger numbers, journey fares
January 6, 2017
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

With the Taipa Line of the Macau Light Rapid Transit (LRT) project planned for a 2019 launch, local transport authorities have admitted that they have no estimates for ticket fares, nor do they have projections for the number of passengers expected to use the service on a daily basis.

The Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) announced that it is conducting studies on ticket pricing, the results of which will be announced closer to the launch date.

“The government is conducting relevant studies and preliminary works on the LRT ticket pricing. To formulate future policies, the government will carefully consider various factors including social and economic benefits, public affordability [and] system operating costs,” said the GIT in a statement emailed to the Times. “Relevant progress will be announced in due course.”

Early government projections claimed that the system could accommodate a maximum of 7,800 passengers per hour per direction across both lines.

However, as the Taipa Line took priority over the Macau Peninsula Line, the GIT said “the government will further study and assess the passenger flow for the project.”

The GIT refused to comment on whether project developers had forecasted an average number of commuters per hour. A GIT representative said the only passenger assessment conducted to date was of the system’s expected maximum capacity.

“At the very beginning of the LRT project development, the project consultant carried out relevant research on capacity of the LRT system. According to the assessment at that time, the LRT will operate 19 hours a day with the maximum capacity of 7,800 passengers per hour, per direction. Based on the assessment result, the government then carried out the procurement of rolling stock and systems and the construction works,” explained the GIT.

If the LRT operates as expected – for 19 hours a day, with a total capacity of up to 15,600 passengers per hour – the light rail infrastructure would be able to accommodate almost 300,000 passengers daily.

However, Macau’s small land mass and abundance of alternative transportation options means that the willingness of residents and non-resident workers to use the LRT will depend on ticket pricing, relative convenience and journey length, among other factors.

More : http://www.macaudailytimes.com.mo/zh...au-bridge.html
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Old February 5th, 2017, 04:31 PM   #430
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Government to initiate preparation for LRT
Friday, February 3, 2017
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

Transportation Infrastructure Office director Ho Cheong Kei has stated, during a TDM radio show, that the government will initiate preparatory work for the operation of the city’s Light Rapid Transit (LRT) this year.

Ho explained that this preparation will include establishing consultation works regarding legal matters connected to the LRT and assembling the companies involved in the LRT.

Overall, the government’s focus for this year is to install train system facilities and to construct an LRT depot.

“I believe we can accomplish our goal of beginning operation of the LRT Taipa section in 2019,” said Ho. According to him, four companies have been engaged in construction work without issues since last September, when the depot project restarted.

Ho revealed that if the construction contractors can finish projects on time or ahead of schedule, the government will grant them 8 percent of their contract budgets as a bonus.

In addition, Ho noted that the inauguration of the LRT in 2019 only concerns the Taipa section. The authority will initiate plans for the section connecting to Barra this year.

The 9.3 kilometers of trestle and 11 stations in Taipa are all connected, Ho said, adding that the main construction of the LRT Taipa section is basically complete.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 07:02 PM   #431
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2016.10.22 Taipa Walk by Tony Lei, on Flickr
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Old February 15th, 2017, 06:04 PM   #432
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Light rail chief to be hired from abroad
Macau Daily Times Excerpt
February 14, 2017

A Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) representative acknowledged that at the moment there are no local people with the needed skills to run the Macau Light Rapid Transit (LRT) project. “The model of the LRT is a novelty for Macau and in regards to the implementation of the project, Macau lacks seasoned professionals to manage the LRT project. Consequently we are thinking about hiring someone from outside with experience in operating light rail projects,” said GIT’s deputy director, Ng Keng Chung yesterday during a press conference held at the Transport Bureau (DSAT).

GIT organized a meeting with local journalists to present the law draft that will serve as a basis for the operations of the future LRT Company which entered public consultation yesterday.

The bill proposes that the LRT be funded by a publicly-owned company. “The government will create a company which is integrally publicly owned to be able to run the LRT. We are not going to include any funding from abroad or from private entities,” Ng Keng Chung explained.

According to Ng, the basis of the decision for creating a publicly owned company was the fact that “outsourcing” a private company with the needed experience to run the transport system “could lack in flexibility on the management of the LRT.” The government felt that its power to supervise in case of a formal concession “could be compromised,” since the company will run autonomously and will be responsible for expenditure and income.

When questioned on the constitution of such a company and when it would be created, Ng did not reply in concrete terms, instead noting that the bill currently under public consultation only defines the guidelines of each party, namely the government and managing company. “For the time being, that’s what we are doing. We haven’t yet stepped to the creation of the company,” he added.

Ng also noted that although it was assumed that no people with the required skills to run the LRT are in Macau at the moment, the government hopes to have local people with capacity to manage the LRT system in a short period of time. Thus, the need to train local staff could be one of the conditions stated clearly in the the contract with the management company.

The government will “delegate competences on this company to run the daily operations of the LRT,” Ng said, adding that the government will also inspect whether or not the company is fulfilling its duties.

In response to a question on when such a law could be delivered to the Legislative Assembly (AL) to be discussed and approved, Ng said: “We expect that with the collection of these opinions we should be able to perfect and improve this first draft into the final law draft to be presented to the AL. Presumably we expect to finish the writing of this law draft within this year.”
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Old February 16th, 2017, 07:32 PM   #433
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Tam confirms Central Library will be built at Old Court Building
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

The new Central Library will definitely be built on the site of the Old Court Building and former Judiciary Police headquarters in central Macau, the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture confirmed yesterday at the Legislative Assembly (AL). During a meeting requested by lawmaker Song Pek Kei to discuss the location of the project, Alexis Tam said that the location “is ideal for holding such facilities.”

Song noted that the plan to build the new library in the city center does not gather the consensus of society, nor of the lawmakers. Some of the lawmakers do not see the “urgency” of a project that, in her opinion, is “under-evaluated and under-estimated.”

The lawmaker said that there are currently “305 libraries” in the territory, which receive around 2 million visits per year. In the preliminary plan for the central library, it is forecasted that the number of annual visitors could reach 3 million, a number that the lawmaker considers exaggerated and unrealistic.

On top of concerns with the location and the budget, which remains unclear, Song remarked that there are also concerns over the preservation of the historical aspects of the building, which will necessitate more complex and more expensive works than building the project on a vacant site.

She suggested alternative locations for the library, such as the new land reclamation areas or adjacent to the Macau Science Center. “To insist on the idea of the current location would be a waste of time and money. It is best to choose another location and build it from scratch as that is more adequate to the needs of residents,” Song said.

The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture disagreed, claiming that the government has heard many opinions and concluded that building the facility at the site of the Old Court Building was an appropriate decision. “Such a facility needs to be built in a location with several other facilities and a transportation network in place […] It is not just us [the government] saying this it is IFLA [International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions] saying it too,” he mentioned.

Putting together the figures to back his argument, Tam recalled that the Nam Van area is currently served by four parking lots with a capacity for 1,600 cars and 700 motorcycles as well as about 30 bus routes.
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Old February 21st, 2017, 04:35 PM   #434
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'Peoples' Opinions Matter' in Deciding Lai Chi Vun's Fate
Feb. 20, 2017
Macau Daily Times Excerpt


sunday afternoon... by hugo poon, on Flickr

The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, said on Friday that he is paying attention to the opinions and concerns expressed by the public regarding the old shipyards of Lai Chi Vun in Coloane.

In a statement issued by the office of the Secretary, Tam said that the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) will soon proceed with the demolition of a part of the old shipyard due to safety issues, and will also launch a tender for a study and plan for the area.

Tam also stated that the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosario, is fulfilling his duties in terms of planning, adding that the services will also express their opinion on the cultural significance of the venue.

Tam hopes that after the work is completed, the area will serve as a new tourist attraction for the region and contribute to the welfare of residents in the area.
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Old March 11th, 2017, 03:37 AM   #435
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TWO LOTS AT LAI CHI VUN SHIPYARDS DISMANTLED
MARCH 9, 2017
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

Two lots of the Lai Chi Vun shipyard area were dismantled yesterday because of their precarious state.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA) said the demolition was necessary since the structures are “seriously damaged due to lack of maintenance, which led to the partial collapse of the main structure of their premises, creating a high security risk.”

The bureau urged the company responsible for the demolition to ensure that the work would not affect the safety of any neighboring facilities and structures.

Additionally, the statement also informed that as a security precaution, the Housing Bureau (IH) advises residents of neighboring houses to temporarily vacate the area while works are being undertaken. The bureau will provide temporary accommodation in cases of urgent need.

The government reclaimed three properties in the Lai Chi Vun area in May 2016. Previously, the president of the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC), Ung Vai Meng, said discussion between the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) had concluded that these properties – which include shipyards and two small wooden houses – will “serve to launch a display of traditions” showcasing the heyday of Macau’s shipbuilding industry.

According to the DSAMA statement, from the 18 lots located at Lai Chi Vun shipyards, only four have facilities that are in an acceptable condition and can thus have their licenses renewed.
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Old March 11th, 2017, 07:29 PM   #436
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MGM unveils lion statue, announces Chinese name for Cotai property
March 8, 2017
Macau Daily Times Excerpt


Source : http://en.mgmchinaholdings.com/media-releases?item=137

MGM unveiled its golden lion statue at MGM Cotai yesterday, with the announcement of the integrated resort’s name in Chinese “Mei Si Mei 美獅美高梅, meaning “Beautiful Lion, Beautiful MGM.” The ceremony was officiated by Pansy Ho, co-chairperson and executive director of MGM China Holdings Limited, as well as MGM’s team of senior executives.

“This gold-gilded lion statue reveals our passion and dedication for MGM Cotai and its significance. Our gratitude and appreciation goes to everyone who has contributed in bringing this statue to life over the last three years,” said Pansy Ho “With prominent presence in Macau, the two properties of MGM each possesses distinctive characteristics strategically put in place to enhance the city’s diversified non-gaming offerings in broadening its economic diversification while positioning Macau as a world leisure and tourism destination,” she continued.

According to a press release issued yesterday by the gaming operator, the new golden statue “provides an iconic entrance to MGM Cotai” and constitutes “a testament to MGM’s legacy in artistry and entertainment.”

The lion statue, MGM’s emblem, stands at 11 meters in height and weighs 38 tons, and is the first MGM lion statue to be gilded in 24-karat gold with the use of approximately 32,000 sheets of gold foil. The lion sits adjacent to the new resort’s North entrance.
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Old March 21st, 2017, 05:33 PM   #437
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HENGQIN LIKELY TO BE AS DEVELOPED AS SHENZHEN
MARCH 17, 2017
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

Shenzhen has rapidly developed into a city with an economic status and output to rival that of Shanghai, China’s very own global financial hub.

Barry Wilson, chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Shenzhen, predicted yesterday that Hengqin, which is currently undergoing development, will develop in a similar manner to Shenzhen.

“They’re going to produce exactly what they say they’re going to produce. […] it’s a great opportunity for Macau to integrate with Hengqin,” he said.

Wilson, who is the director of a construction consultancy firm and also a scholar, argued that Shenzhen has outperformed Guangzhou in several areas as the leading city in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, particularly in technology and design-
related industries.

He attributed the city’s economic growth to its ability to attract talent, due to the jobs offered by internet and finance companies headquartered in the area, as well as local property prices.

Last year, Shenzhen surpassed Beijing and Shanghai as the mainland’s most expensive housing market, Wilson pointed out.

Speaking on the sidelines of the British Business Association of Macau’s (BBAM) monthly breakfast talk, Wilson acknowledged that the significant and rapid growth of the modern metropolis was due to the visionary government.

“The government has been given a mandate for this to happen and they’ve done it. The environment they’ve created has absolutely been pro-business; there’s been all sorts of incentives for companies,” he explained. That is why, he argued, Shenzhen is slated to be China’s second most prominent city, outstripping Shanghai.

Questioned by the Times as to how and why Hong Kong and Macau have lagged behind Shenzhen in their development of industries such as technology and design, Wilson noted that the two SARs were unable to strategically plan for the long term.

“They have had the central government quite happy to give them freedom to carry on in their own way, but at the same time the government here has not felt totally in control to make their own vision,” he said.

“Hong Kong has not really moved forward in 20 years; it hasn’t been able to adapt. It’s trying to protect a lot of the cornerstones and benchmarks of its economies in a very changing landscape, and I think you need to be flexible in today’s world in business and strategic [planning].”
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Old April 11th, 2017, 12:31 PM   #438
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SJM SIGNS HKD25B LOAN FACILITY
Macau Daily Times Excerpt
April 7, 2017

Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) announced the signing yesterday of a HKD25 billion syndicated loan facilities agreement with 19 leading financial instructions, in order to provide the company with the finances for the construction of the Grand Lisboa Palace.

According to a statement issued yesterday by SJM, the facilities consist of a HKD15 billion term loan facility with final maturity in 2022 and a HKD10 billion revolving credit facility with final maturity in 2020.

The facilities are guaranteed by SJM Holdings Ltd. and carry interest at HIBOR (Hong Kong Interbank Offer Rate) plus a variable margin.

The facility agent and the security agent for the agreement is Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau) and the senior mandated lead arranger is Bank of China Macau Branch.

Representing SJM at the signing ceremony were Chairman of the Board of Directors for SJM, Ambrose So, the company’s Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer Angela Leong and Director Rui Cunha.

“We are delighted to see the positive response of the banking community to these loan facilities,” said Ambrose So during the signing ceremony yesterday. “This transaction demonstrates the confidence of the capital markets in participating with us in helping Macau achieve its destiny of becoming a world center of tourism and leisure.”

Budgeted at HKD35 billion, the Grand Lisboa Palace resort in Cotai is scheduled to open in the first half of 2018.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 02:04 PM   #439
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MOP1 BILLION IN 2016
SECRETARY ROSÁRIO SAYS LIGHT RAIL BUDGET IS AS FORECAST
Apr. 12, 2017
Macau Daily Times

In 2016, the government spent MOP1 billion on the Macau Light Rail Transit (LRT) project bringing the bill to a total of MOP9.2 billion, the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário, said yesterday at a meeting of the Legislative Assembly Follow-up Committee on Land and Public Concession Affairs.

After the meeting, the president of the Committee, lawmaker Ho Ion Sang, informed the media that “the government told us that the cost [of the LRT project] is according to the forecast.” Back in 2011, Rosario estimated the budget for the first phase of the project, which includes the Taipa line and the connection to the transport hub in Barra, to amount to MOP11 billion.

Rosário reassured that the Taipa section will be running in 2019 and reported that the Transportation Infrastructure Office will be extinct in 2018.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 09:13 PM   #440
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MGM COTAI TO OPEN IN Q4
Macau Daily Times
May 1, 2017

The MGM resort in Cotai is set to open in the fourth quarter of this year around “National Day Golden Week”, MGM Resorts CEO James Murren revealed during a conference call discussing the group’s first-quarter earnings. In March this year, Grant Bowie, CEO and executive director of MGM China, said the company was “working to meet the target of the opening date in the second half of this year.”

“We want to be open this year. It’s important for us and it’s important for Macau,” Bowie said.

Union Gaming Securities, a boutique investment bank and advisory firm focused on the global gaming industry, also commented on the resort’s opening: “Following the opening of Cotai [project], we expect MGM China to enjoy significant upsides, given what will be an exceptional uptick in room supply for the company, as well as the largest percentage increase in table supply for any of the ‘Big Six’.”
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