Malaysia’s RHB Investment Bank Bhd expects the nation’s top casino entities, Genting Berhad and its subsidiary Genting Malaysia, to return to profitability in 2022 now that their global property portfolio is operational again.
In a research note to welcome in the New Year, RHB Research analysts said Genting is well placed to produce a much-improved performance in 2022 thanks to the recent resumption of operations, reduced operational costs and a better understanding of the global COVID-19 pandemic – even with the renewed threat of the Omicron variant.
“Many countries are now better equipped and nimble in handling the pandemic,” they wrote.
“Coupled with the massive cost rationalisation efforts undertaken previously by the casino operators, these should partially cushion the impact. Both the casino operators will resume recovering after the Covid-19 situation stabilises.”
Both Genting Bhd and Genting Malaysia are expected to release their FY21 financial results in February, having previously reported losses of MYR326.5 million (US$78.3 million) and MYR307 million (US$72.6 million) respectively in 3Q21.
Also looming as potential positives are further upside in Las Vegas as Resorts World Las Vegas ramps operations, and in New York where Genting Malaysia is pursuing a full license for its currently EGM-only Resorts World New York City property.
As a result, RHB Research has maintained an “overweight” rating for the sector.
“The recent dip in [gaming] sector share prices due to Omicron concerns presents an opportunity for investors to accumulate, as we do not expect the impact to be as severe as in 2020-2021,” the analysts said.
“Earnings recovery should pick up pace due to the easing of movement restrictions once the situation stabilises.”
Genting Bhd, they added, presents a strong option “due to its attractive 6.2x EV/EBITDA vs the regional peer average of c.13x, which provides investors a cheaper alternative to position for the tourism recovery play angle.”