n Sunday Fernando Chui was endorsed by a 300-member panel. He was the sole candidate for chief executive in the former Portuguese colony's first leadership change since reverting to Chinese rule in 1999.
Chui is not expected to bring any major changes to Macau's gaming policy right away, but there is hope that his election might lead Beijing, as a goodwill gesture to the new administration, to end the visa restrictions on mainland visitors, Macau's biggest gaming customers. Macau is the only place in China where casinos are legal.
The sector responded positively to the potential catalyst, with shares of Las Vegas Sands Corp. up 41 cents, or 3.8 %, to us$ 11.29 in morning trading. MGM Mirage's stock gained 2 cents to us$ 7.75, while Wynn Resorts Ltd. gained 5 cents to us$ 47.34. Shares of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., whose price target was raised by an analyst Monday, added 9 cents to us$ 5.40.