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Macao keeps its AA rating with Fitch

The agency is optimistic about Macao in 2024, but warns that policy changes and a slowing economy in China could impact the SAR’s ongoing recovery.

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Fitch Ratings will maintain Macao’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at “AA” with a “stable” outlook, according to its latest published update.

The US credit rating agency cited the SAR’s strong public and external finances in Friday’s report, noting that Macao had “demonstrated fiscal prudence even during periods of economic and gaming revenue shocks.”

It warned, however, that policy changes in mainland China around gaming tourism could have an economic impact on Macao due to the SAR’s reliance on mainland Chinese visitors – by far the biggest market for the territory’s casinos.

[See more: Fitch Ratings is optimistic about Macao’s gaming industry in 2024]

It also warned that “a sharper slowdown in China” would be “a key downside risk to Macao’s economic and gaming recovery prospects” in spite of an expanding scheme to allow mainland Chinese travellers to visit Macao independently.

Fitch predicted that the economy would grow by up to 15 percent, and that 2024 gross gaming revenue (GGR) would come in at about 80 percent of 2019’s pre-pandemic level.

In terms of the government’s budget, Fitch analysts believed GGR would surpass the government forecast and that annual expenditure would remain under budget – resulting in a surplus equivalent to 3.8 per cent of gross domestic product in 2024.

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