Credit Crunch in China Hits Wynn Shares

High rollers in Macau could curb their betting as China puts more limits on borrowing, according to a Wells Fargo analyst. Wynn Resorts, which makes most of its money in the Chinese enclave, fell 3.6 percent April 15; MGM and Las Vegas Sands also slipped.

Modest gains for the first half of 2014

Wynn Resorts stock fell 3.6 percent April 15 after an analyst said restrictions on credit in China could make high rollers in Macau rein in their bets, Bloomberg reported last week. Macau is Wynn’s biggest market.

Shares fell to just under $203 at the close after dropping 7.5 percent during the day. Other U.S. casino companies with operations in Macau also dropped.

“Bottom line, credit growth hasn’t yet bottomed, and we could see VIP growth meaningfully decelerate over the next six months,” said Cameron McKnight, a Wells Fargo & Co. analyst. Data released last week showed total new credit in China shrinking 19 percent from 2013. Wynn generated 72 percent of its revenue last year in Macau.

McKnight predicts high rollers will curtail their betting this quarter, but the first half of 2014 will see an overall 3 percent gain. But the total gain is fairly anemic compared with growth of 12.5 percent in the first quarter.

On the same day Las Vegas Sands Corp. lost 2 percent of its value, closing at $73.18, and MGM Resorts International was down 0.9 percent to $23.46. U.S. listed shares of Hong Kong-based Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. declined 2.4 percent to $34.14, Bloomberg reported.