he firm said its checks show that the region had a strong New Year's holiday performance, without citing the source of its information. While a post-holiday slowdown is still expected to occur, Nomura sees GGR rising more than it had originally expected, nearly in line with the 10% GGR growth Macau showed in fourth quarter 2016.
Last week, Nomura published a note warning investors to be cautious about a Macau casino stock rally due to valuation and the uncertainty of the region's long-term prospects. Casino companies doing business in Macau include Wynn Resorts (WYNN) , Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL) and MGM Resorts International (MGM) .
Following Nomura's cautionary note last week, Macau stocks saw an average decline of 10%, which has made those stocks' valuations more attractive, analyst Richard Huang wrote.
"Mass market growth led by new openings should continue to drive industry EBITDA increases," Huang wrote.
But the rally is not without its possible hiccups and Huang reiterated that a China property market slowdown, measures to curb capital outflows, and tightened regulations affecting high-end gaming demand are still potential issues.
The Macau gaming region reported its fifth consecutive month of year over year growth in December after reporting 26 consecutive months of declines. Macau GGR rose 8% to $2.48 billion, however, for the year GGR fell 2.2% to $27.9 billion.