Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson announced this morning that Huang Nubo would not be granted the right to purchase land in east Iceland.
Citing the size of the land purchase in question, The Ministry said in a press release sent today that granting Huang an exception to law nr. 19/1966 would not have been in the spirit of law.
That is the notion that it is necessary to limit Non-EEA foreigners’ rights to property in Iceland to protect the nation’s independence and the sovereignty of the land as well as Icelander’s opportunities to benefit from their resources.
Huang had expressed interest in purchasing 72,19% of Grímsstaðir á fjöllum in east Iceland, which is equal to .3% of Iceland’s total land area.
Icelandic law on ownership and use of property makes stipulations that Huang’s company, Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group, did not meet.
1) A company must have a legal address in Iceland
2) All company directors should be Icelandic citizens or have a legal address in Iceland for at least five years
3) 4/5 of shares in a company should be owned by Icelandic citizens
4) Icelandic citizens should have a majority vote at Board meetings
The law states that exceptions can be made if these stipulations cannot be met, and Huang applied for such an exception on August 31, which The Ministry reviewed.
Speaking to Vísir, Huang’s spokesperson Halldór Jóhannson said he was disappointed. He pointed out that The Ministry’s decision is based on the size of the land in question, and there is nothing specifically in the law that deals with land size.
Halldór said that the next stop is for Huang to decide if he is interested in an alternative venture or whether he will bid farewell to his Iceland altogether.