Iceland Riskiest Western Country For Investment - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland Riskiest Western Country For Investment

Published September 19, 2011

A new study has determined that among western countries, Iceland is by far the riskiest country for investors to put their money. A professor of business believes the study underlines Iceland’s need to accept Huang Nubo’s offer to buy land for building a luxury hotel.
Despite a recovering economy, investors are still skittish about putting their money in Iceland, especially in the wake of the debacle involving energy company Alterra – formerly Magma Energy – which saw great public pressure put on the government to turn them away.
Although Alterra is now going through the process of working in Iceland, Vísir reports that the insurance company Aon, which put together an investment risk report of several western countries, has determined that Iceland is the riskiest western country for foreigners to invest in.
The report says that internal political disagreements, strikes, rioting and even the inability of the government to pay are all factors in this assessment. This effectively puts Iceland in the same category as Egypt, Russia, China and Albania when it comes to investment risk. By comparison, it is safer to invest money in countries such as Mexico, Morrocco, Tunisia, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
Aðalsteinn Leifsson, an assistant professor at the business department of the University of Reykjavík, believes this assessment is closely tied to the case of Huang Nubo, a Chinese investor who wants to purchase land in northeast Iceland for building a luxury hotel.
“If Huang Nubo is denied the right to develop in Iceland,” he told Fréttablaðið, “it will be necessary for the government to justify this decision with impartial and logical reasons. Otherwise Iceland’s reputation among foreign investors will be further damaged.”

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