World Cup a Good Time to Score Casino Names, Morgan Stanley Says

Here’s what you might have missed during the Asia trading day.

Macau casino operators got a boost Tuesday as Morgan Stanley highlighted the upcoming soccer World Cup as a prime opportunity for investors to strike amid a lull in foot traffic.

While the tournament beginning in June will likely impact the gaming business in the second quarter, casino operators are currently tracking ahead of market expectations. That suggests the sporting event won’t be as much of a headwind as feared, the firm’s analysts said in a report dated Monday. An uptick in Macau’s gambling market that started in mid-2016 is expected to continue for the next few years, they added.

Casino and hotel operator SJM Holdings Ltd. rose 2.5 percent, extending its highest price since August 2015, after Morgan Stanley analysts led by Praveen Choudhary raised their target price on the stock by 14 percent to HK$8.30. The move followed stronger-than-expected first-quarter results last week.


Even so, the analysts expect SJM Holdings to lose its revenue market share before its Cotai casino opens and maintain a sell rating on the stock. Their share price target is still 7.8 percent lower than the closing price of HK$9.

— With assistance by Kana Nishizawa

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