Genting Malaysia’s flagship Genting Highlands resort, home to Resorts World Genting (RWG), could reopen by 1 October after being named as one of three destinations to be included in a domestic tourism bubble.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture named Genting Highlands, duty-free island Pulau Tioman and the city of Melaka as the three destinations on Tuesday, after approval by the government’s COVID-19 Ministerial Quartet. The proposal is set to be presented to a Special Committee on Tackling COVID-19 today.
If granted final approval, standard operating procedures around travel to and from each destination would be studied, however local media reports said the three destinations have already been told to prepare for welcoming back visitors.
RWG has been closed since 1 June under Malaysia’s nationwide lockdown and had until now been excluded from early steps to ease lockdown measures for some businesses, beginning from mid-August.
In a Tuesday note, Nomura analysts Tushar Mohata and Alpa Aggarwal said they believe RWG can reopen by 1 October in what is clearly a positive development for Genting Malaysia.
“We think it is slightly earlier than consensus expectations,” they wrote.
“While it is possible that visitors would need to be fully vaccinated, we believe this will not prove to be a constraint given the high inoculation rate in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding areas. Note that at its last quarterly briefing, Genting management had indicated that 95% of its Malaysian staff were on-track to be vaccinated by end-August, and they are ready to open with appropriate social distancing protocols whenever allowed by regulators.”
The analysts reiterated their “Buy” rating on Genting Malaysia stocks due to a predicted earnings turnaround in 4Q21, with the new Skyworlds theme park also expected to launch sometime during the quarter.