Xi Plays His Cards Right in Macau
Thought of by many as the “other, smaller Hong Kong,” Macau is a former colony of China and one of its “special administrative regions.” Under the experimental ‘one country, two systems’ principle, it’s granted various social and economic freedoms. One of those is an exclusive right to open legal casinos!
Local gaming companies like Melco Crown have jumped on stock markets amid an economic boom in the region. Macau is bigger than Vegas, and gaming contributes to more than half of the territory’s gross domestic product (GDP)!
However, it’s still looked after by Chinese President Xi. He’s there right now to mark the 20th anniversary of Macau’s handover from Portugal, but many think he’s there to gamble politically. On the down low, Xi praised the Macanese on Wednesday for “seriously” adhering to the ‘one country, two systems’ rule, throwing shade on Hongkongers six months into protests for democracy. Some investors even see him going a step further than that!
Over 10 million punters rolling the dice in this casino capital are tourists from the Chinese Mainland. Yesterday, Xi ordered his Central Bank in Beijing to allow tourists to transfer more money between accounts. He says that will “facilitate trade,” and rekindle the region’s economic boom following unsettling trade wars and Hong Kong riots.
What are the odds of success? Melco Crown rose 5% on the news. You be the judge!