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Melco Crown shares fall 4.8 pct on lacklustre earnings, Taiwan forex probe

HONG KONG, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Shares in Macau casino operator Melco Crown fell 4.8 percent on Friday after the company posted second-quarter earnings that missed consensus due to increased labour costs and sluggish growth in the world's biggest gambling hub.

Melco reported earnings on Thursday night which showed that net revenue fell 7 percent to $1.2 billion. The company also announced that a branch office in Taiwan has been indicted for alleged violations of local banking and foreign exchange laws.

Lawrence Ho, chief executive of Melco said on a conference call that the company has yet to receive formal documentation but has been operating in compliance with Taiwan law.

Melco, in line with casino peers Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, reported higher than expected staff costs of $10 milllion at a time when workers are demanding higher pay and threatening strikes.

Its shares were set to open down 4.8 percent at HK$74.90, lagging a 0.3 percent drop in the benchmark index.

(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)