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Category Archives: Macau

CCAC says officials who granted loans to Viva Macau ‘failed in their duties’ – Macau News

Posted: September 18, 2020 at 1:02 am

A report released by the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) yesterday says that officials responsible for the vetting and approval of MOP 212 million in loans to Viva Macau, a locally incorporated private airline which went belly up in 2010, failed in their duties.

However, the report insists that no-one intentionally broke the law when the governments Industrial and Commercial Development Fund (FDIC) granted the loans in 2008 and 2009. On the other hand, the report says that concerning the vetting and approval of the loan applications by Viva Macau, the respective officials neither strictly required that the application papers were complete nor carefully scrutinised the applicants repayment capacity.

The report also says that there was a lack of prudence concerning the loans repayment guarantee requirement and supervision.

According to the report, the fund handed its documentation on the Viva Macau loan case to the CCAC for investigation in 2018.

The report underlines that its investigation found no indications of fraud or graft concerning the granting of the loans to Viva Macau.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng, who is currently on a working visit to Hainan, said in a statement yesterday that he had directed government entities to closely study the suggestions and issues raised by the report.

Ho pledged in his statement that as part of the ongoing public administration reform effort, his government will carry out an in-depth assessment of the functions, structure, regulations and laws governing all public funds, with a view to ensure proper use of public resources.

The FDIC is overseen by the Economic Services Bureau. Ho ordered Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong to review the loan granting process by the fund.

Both Air Macau and Viva Macau were affected by the global financial crisis of 2008-09. While the government injected MOP 215 million into Air Macau, of which it is a shareholder, it granted Via Macau, which was privately owned, loans totalling MOP 212 million which in the wake of the airlines bankruptcy were never repaid. When Viva Macau went out of business, officials found only MOP 20,000 in the airlines accounts, the report points out.

According to the report, disciplinary or penal consequences that might have resulted from the case are already statute-barred.

(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)

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Visitation on the rise in September but Macau recovery slower than other jurisdictions – Inside Asian Gaming

Posted: at 1:02 am

The recovery of Macaus gaming industry has proven to be slower than levels seen in other jurisdictions across Asia-Pacific, despite some signs of improvement over the first two weeks of September.

According to a Monday note from investment bank JP Morgan, gross gaming revenue over the past week reached approximately MOP$115 million per day an improvement upon MOP$80 million per day in the first week of September and three times higher than the MOP$40 million per day of July and August.

Visitation has also reached about 15,000 arrivals per day compared with 2,500 through July and less than 8,000 in August.

However, JP Morgan analysts DS Kim, Derek Choi and Jeremy An noted this was still below earlier expectations that daily GGR would have reached closer to MOP$200 million per day by now after IVS visas were reinstated for the entirety of Guangdong Province from 26 August.

The pace seems slower than what weve seen in other re-opened jurisdictions (such as Australia, Korea or US regionals, where local demand recovered to 70-100%+ of pre-COVID-19 levels in a matter of a months), they said, adding that the numbers suggest Guangdong has recovered to around 40% of its daily visitor numbers from 2019.

The slower recovery is attributed to, Weak VIP amidst increased scrutiny on capital-flow and junket/agents some practical issues that hinder visitations, such as slower visa processing (due to yet-to-reopen self-service kiosks) or COVID-19 testing; and seemingly less-than-strong confidence in travelling overseas.

Wed like to think that these are rather transitory and can be resolved gradually in the coming months, but we admit the visibility is low.

The analysts estimate September GGR to reach between 15% and 20% of last years level in September rising to between 40% and 50% in October, aided by the 1 October Golden Week holiday.

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Macau Racing Tips: The Honan 1510 Metres Sand 2020-09-19 | Sat | 14:00 – Macau Daily Times

Posted: at 1:02 am

The new MJC racing season kicks off this Saturday with six sand races, I would like to pick for a runner that has already shown improvement in his races and with the off season preps that aim for an early season success coming through on the season opening. The runner is Modena Best (pictured) from Wayne Smiths yard, he will get his chance in this particular sand race. Wayne Smith has sat on him in his track work and he is very please with Modena Bests response in yesterday work out. Modena Best is a consistent sand performer his last race on 1800 metres turf was messy and raced wide without cover throughout, this time he has W.L Ho on the plate, hopefully through his good pair of hands, Modena Best will get good cover from the early stages of the race, and then find a good tactical position in the last 200 metres with the good stamina that he inherited from Medaglia DOro and fire on. Wayne Smith is in good form towards the end of last season lets all hope that Modena Best will fly the flag early for Waynes yard this Saturday. Davy Chiu

Race 5 Horse no. 9 Modena BestWin & Place

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Youth space for ‘education of love for the motherland’ due to open in December – Macau Business

Posted: at 1:02 am

A new youth space on the education of Love for the Motherland and for Macau should open in the territory in December, authorities announced.

The space, located at MacausTransfer of Sovereignty Museum, will have several educational media on patriotic matters, the Education and Youth Bureau (DSEJ) Director, Lou Pak Sang, explained yesterday.

During a meeting with the media, Lou Pak Sang also said that the space will cost MOP2.5 million and will feature videos and materials on Chinese culture and history provided by the department.

Its facilities will also include a thematic interactive teaching area, a Chinese culture room, a country and Macau history corridor and a multimedia room with patriotic teaching materials, which will showcase Chinese history and culture over five thousand years, the successes of the development of China, the history of Macau and patriotic education, among other elements, using diversified forms, such as the recreation of real objects and multimedia, among others, he said.

On the same occasion, the authorities said that they are preparing a new public consultation on Medium and long-term planning for non-higher education (2021-2030) and Macau Youth Policy (2021-2030) and with the support of experts from Taiwan and Hong Kong, around 100 youth associations, among other local authorities.

Inheriting the love of the motherland Macau, physical and mental virtue, improving capacities, harmony and participation in society will be the themes highlighted in this plan, he detailed.

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Fashion festival to be themed Green Sustainability – Macau Daily Times

Posted: at 1:02 am

The Macao Fashion Festival 2020 will be held from October 22 to 24 at the Cotai Expo Hall A with the theme Green Sustainability.Covering an area of 1,116 square meters, the upcoming show will feature a total of 31 brands, the majority of which are from Macau. A number of the brands are from Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.According to the organizers of the show, this years festival aims to promote sustainable design to help reduce the negative impact of the fashion industry on the environment.Unlike last year, when international brands and designers participated in the event, this year the event will only feature designers from neighboring regions due to the travel and entry restrictions associated with Covid-19.Organizers announced in a meeting held yesterday that the festival will highlight the Boutique Gallery, inviting local fashion designers and creative stores to retail their products on the site.These products include accessories, wallets and watches, among others that are all Made-in-Macau items.For these three days, a 30-minute fashion tour will be held at the event daily.The opening ceremony will feature a fashion parade from designers from Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Macau.Representing Shenzhen is designer Sun Gui Tian, who is the founder of Yizhou and was awarded the Shenzhen Fashion Grand Award at Shenzhen Fashion Week.Jeania Tang, from Guangzhou, will present some of her gold-threaded embroidered Chinese wedding gown pieces, while Janko Lam, from Hong Kong, will present her brand, which intertwines Chinese aesthetics with modern design elements informed by the concept of sustainability and durability.Meanwhile, local designer Isabella Choi is set to feature her brand, Nega C. Fashion, the design concept of which focuses on living a casual life that incorporate elements of street culture.Another local representative is Axoxyxoxs, a long-time recipient of the governments Subsidy Programme for Fashion Design on Sample Making.Last year, the festival attracted a total of 55 designers and fashion brands from different regions.Fifteen local brands had fashion displays, while six professional fashion shows were organized to show a total of 383 fashion pieces.This year, despite the social distancing measures urged by the government, organizers of the event are expecting a similar number of attendees.The festival is co-organized by the Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Center (CPTTM) and the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.The Macau Daily Timesis an officialmedia partner of the event.

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US charges citizen with providing support to IS – Macau Business

Posted: at 1:02 am

Prosecutors in Washington have charged a US citizen for joining the so-called Islamic State group in Syria, according to a statement from the Justice Department Wednesday.

The charges allege that Lirim Sylejmani conspired to provide and provided material support to IS, which the United States has classified as a terrorist organization, between 2015 and 2019.

The department also claimed he received military training from the self-styled caliphate.

The defendant is a U.S. citizen who abandoned the country that welcomed him to join ISIS in Syria, acting US Attorney Sherwin said in the statement of Sylejmani, who was born in Kosovo.He will now be held accountable for his actions in an American courtroom.

Sylejmani was captured by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) last year, according to the statement, before facing investigation by the FBIs Washington Field Office Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The question of how to handle captured foreign IS fighters has vexed Western governments, with the US vying for European countries to repatriate and try their own citizens.

Nations such as France and Britain reject the return of battle-hardened supporters of the ultra-violent IS group, which has claimed responsibility for a slew of grisly attacks against civilians.

Some European governments, including Britain, have revoked the citizenship of a number of citizens over alleged IS links.

But the US has pushed back against these approaches.

Leaving them in the desert is not an effective solution. It makes it more likely theyre going to find their way back to the battlefield, and accepting that risk is not being tough on terrorism, the US State Departments counterterrorism coordinator Nathan Sales told a meeting in Brussels last year.

Plus, it could put an undue burden on Middle Eastern countries already dealing with their own former IS-fighter citizens, according to the US.

The EU-backed Genocide Network this spring advocated that returning IS foreign fighters should be charged with war crimes under international law such as genocide or crimes against humanity in addition to whatever terrorism charges they may face at home.

As of May, some 2,000 fighters were still detained by Syrian forces and another 1,000 were in detention in Iraq, many of them European citizens mainly from France, Britain and Germany.

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World Views | ByteDance is playing chicken with Trump on TikTok – Macau Daily Times

Posted: at 1:02 am

There havebeen enough leaks over the past few days to get a sense of what the TikTok-Oracle Corp. deal looks like. The details are revelatory, with two aspects in particularworthy of note.First, TikTok parentByteDance Ltd. would maintain majority ownership, leaving Oracle and other American partners collectively in a minority, Nick Wadhams and Shelly Banjo of Bloomberg News reported this week, citing people familiar with the matter. Secondly, Oracle would have full access to TikToks codebase, according to the report.In summary, Oracle would get the keys to the castle but ByteDance would still own the kingdom.Theres an important caveat: the White House and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. havent signed off on the deal. President Trump said hell get a briefing today [Macau time], and isnt yet prepared to approve it.According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump administration officials remain committed to having TikTokunder U.S. control.ByteDances determination to hold onto majority ownership seems jarring. Despite being a global phenomenon, TikToks worldwide revenue last year accounted for about2% of ByteDances total sales. The Beijing-based company has plenty more products in its suite, including a domesticversion of TikTok called Douyin and news aggregator Toutiao. It would be a small financial sacrifice to let go of TikTok if that means keeping the business alive and operating in the U.S.I have no doubt Beijing has made its views on a majority sale clear to ByteDance management. After all, the Chinese government wouldprefer to see TikTok shut down than forced into American hands, according to a Reuters report.Yet the second aspect of the deal, as it stands now, is also revealing. Giving Oracle fullaccess to TikToks codebase indicates ByteDance is confident itll be just fine if the Americans get to peek under the hood at the software that has made the app such a global sensation.Software and algorithms dont stand still. The TikTok of today is vastly different from the TikTok of a year ago, and the product wed see next year would be better again. If improvements get slowed, or even halted, under U.S. management then ByteDance probably wont sweat it because it has thousands of engineers tweaking and refining the algorithms at its other products. And since TikTok is only a small part of its business, a certain amount of stagnation wont kill the company.Of course, that may bea harsh assessment U.S. software engineers remain the best in the world and would probably do a good job of developing the product. But either way, ByteDance can afford not to care too much as long as it still controls the company and can determine key decisions, such as whether to go for an initial public offeringor make an acquisition. It would also remain in the drivers seat should a future U.S. administration reverse course.That seems to be the Chinese companys endgame. Signing over majority control has a finality that the Chinese company hopes to avoid. Access to the codebase, on the other hand, can be reversed at anytime.ByteDance is playing chicken with President Trump. Lets see who flinches first. Tim Culpan, Bloomberg

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Hong Kong denies reports Macau to be frozen out of travel bubble as Taiwan eases border restrictions – Inside Asian Gaming

Posted: June 26, 2020 at 8:46 pm

Hong Kong officials, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam, have denied reports suggesting Macau could be frozen out of an initial travel bubble between Hong Kong and Guangdong Province.

A number of Hong Kong media outlets reported this week that talks were underway between Hong Kong and the mainland to implement mutual recognition of COVID-19 virus tests under their respective health code systems, with Hong Kong currently working on finalizing its own system. Those same reports said Macau would not be part of the scheme.

However, Lam dismissed suggestions a travel bubble could open without Macau, stating she has recently spoken with Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng about the issue. Macau currently has no active cases of COVID-19, having cleared the last of its 45 cases on 19 May.

On Wednesday, Hong Kongs Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, confirmed to the Legislative Council that discussions were underway between Hong Kong and Guangdong Province to establish a pilot scheme to relax cross-boundary flow of people between the two places within certain limits in order to facilitate people who need to travel between Guangdong and Hong Kong.

Under the scheme, which would likely be subject to a quota, the governments of Guangdong and Hong Kong would mutually recognize COVID-19 test results conducted by designated testing facilities, with the mutual recognition to be done through the health code of the two jurisdictions. Exempted persons would not be allowed to have left Hong Kong or Guangdong in the previous 14 days.

Contrary to reports of Macaus exclusion, Professor Chan added, The Government is [also] discussing with the Macao SAR Government the arrangement for mutual recognition of virus test results and exemption of cross-border travelers from compulsory quarantine. Details will be separately announced after the discussion has completed.

The developments come as Taiwan announced this week that it would allow foreigners to apply for entry from 29 June, with specific mention made of both Hong Kong and Macau.

According to Taiwanese media, citizens of the two SARs will be able to apply for entry for a variety of reasons including special humanitarian considerations and emergency assistance, business activities, internal transfers from multinational companies, economic trade or if they hold residence permits as the spouses or children of Taiwanese citizens.

Those exempted must provide a negative COVID-19 test report obtained within three days of boarding their flight to Taiwan.

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Macau Chief Executive calls on gaming operators to stay patient with good news on border restrictions to come – Inside Asian Gaming

Posted: at 8:46 pm

Macaus Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng says he is hopeful gaming operators can maintain their patience over the COVID-19 border restrictions that have crippled the industry, suggesting good news is on its way.

Ho was in attendance at the Macao International Dragon Boat Races on Thursday, where he told media he hoped border restrictions between mainland China and Macau would be eased in July.

Gaming operators have supported us for half a year and have made great contributions to Macau, he said. If they can persist, I think good news will come very soon.

Explaining that Macau has been actively pushing to ease border restrictions with both Guangdong Province and Hong Kong, Ho said officials have asked Zhuhai to increase the daily quota for Macau residents to cross into mainland China without undergoing mandatory quarantine.

He also confirmed he has been fighting to join the initial travel bubble currently being discussed by Hong Kong and Guangdong Province. As reported by Inside Asian Gamingthis week, Hong Kong is looking to establish a pilot scheme with Guangdong Province that would include mutual recognition of virus tests and border exemptions for qualified people.

We have had many interactions with Hong Kong, Ho said. Hong Kong has also helped us a lot in coordination work. We hope to join the pilot scheme and weve never stopped communicating with Hong Kong.

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Philippines repatriated more than 360 workers in Macau and provided assistance to over 2,000 – Macau Business

Posted: at 8:46 pm

More than 360 Filipino workers have been repatriated and more than 2,000 have received food aid in Macau through the Philippine consulate since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippine Consul General in Macau, Lilybeth Deapera, told Lusa.

In total, Deapera stated that the Philippine authorities have repatriated a total of 673 Filipinos from Macau, of whom 368 are workers.

On June 18 alone, a Philippine Airlines chartered plane carried 222 Filipino workers back to the country.

The number of Filipinos who have left the territory may be greater, the consul admitted, since many did not inform the consulate and left the territory before the borders were virtually closed.

With around 30,000 non-resident workers in Macau, Filipinos are, after those from the interior of China, the largest nationality with this type of visa in the territory.

Lilybeth Deapera also revealed that gambling operator Sands chartered a flight to repatriate its employees on Saturday and that on Monday Menzies Macau Airport Services will do the same.

The consul of the Philippines in Macau also said that the Philippine authorities distributed a total of 2,073 packs to affected Filipinos in Macau.

The beneficiaries were mostly workers who were made redundant or who are on unpaid leave, he detailed.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in Macao, thousands of people have been made redundant, the vast majority of whom are non-resident workers and who work in the giant gambling operators complexes in the world capital of casinos, in crisis due to border restrictions in Macao and, therefore, they are practically without tourists and players.

On the sidelines of the annual dragon boat races, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng, commented on Thursday that the government cannot intervene in the procedure of companies, and that the situation alone is already quite difficult, considering it normal to have some game promoters reducing the number of workers .

On June 19, game operator Melco announced the dismissal of about 75 employees of the biggest show in the territory, House of Dancing Water, and closed the show until next year, according to testimonies of several workers to Lusa.

On June 17, the creation of the special maritime corridor to and from Hong Kong, until July 16, created a new opportunity for workers to leave Macau.

Today, in a press conference, the authorities of the territory indicated that more than 600 tickets have been sold for the transport from Macau to Hong Kong and that since June 17, 248 people have left the territory.

However, the consul of the Philippines in Macau, argued that the number of redundancies for Filipinos may not be directly related to this.

It just gives an alternative route, he said.

Today, the Labor Affairs Bureau released the number of non-resident workers by industry in late May.

According to these data, there were 189,274 non-resident workers in the territory in May, just 225 fewer workers than in May 2019.

Today, in response to the Lusa agency, the Indonesian consulate, one of the countries with the most non-resident workers in Macau, indicated that the number of Indonesian workers who have left Macau since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic has been insignificant, about 50 people.

Today, too, health services announced a new case of contagion from Covid-19, the first in the territory since April 9.

He is a resident of Macau, of Filipino nationality. The 57-year-old man, explained to Lusa a source of health services, arrived in the territory by ferry [] from Manila, via Hong Kong.

Macau was one of the first territories to identify cases of infection with the covid-19, before the end of January.

The city then registered a first wave of ten cases. Another 35 cases started in March, all imported, a situation associated with the return of residents, many students in higher education in foreign countries.

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