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Macau boss calm as gaming suffers

12 November 2008

MACAU -- As reported by the BBC: "Macau's Chief Executive Edmund Ho has offered a raft of measures to help residents and small businesses in his annual policy address.

"He said the territory, which has autonomy under Chinese rule, would survive the gambling industry's woes.

"One of Macau's biggest investors, Las Vegas Sands, has revealed problems in debt-servicing and a halt to projects.

"...Mr Ho said he will not cut the 39% tax on gaming revenues, nor would his administration support casino investors in trouble.

"Mr Ho promised Macau homebuyers and small investors a raft of perks, including subsidies on new homes and household bills, salary tax breaks, and a handout to students.

"He offered extra loans for small- and medium-sized businesses and 10.2bn patacas ($1.3bn; £840m) for new infrastructure projects, including improvements at heritage sites, as well as new public housing and railways..."

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