Chinese businessman Huang Nubo will be renting land in northeast Iceland for the next 40 years, and has already paid the full amount in advance.
As reported, Huang Nubo has been interested in buying Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum, comprising about 30,639 hectares in northeast Iceland, for 1 billion ISK. His plans were to build a luxury hotel and golf course on the property. This sparked a public controversy, ultimately culminating in Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson denying permission to buy land, citing the fact that Icelandic law does not permit non-Scandinavians to purchase land.
Despite the rebuff, Huang Nubo remained determined to involve himself in Iceland’s tourist industry somehow. That persistence has paid off, RÚV reports.
Employment development groups from Eyjafjörður and Þingeyjarsýsla have advised municipalities of northern and eastern Iceland to create a shareholding company, buy a 70% share of the property at Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum, and then lease it to Huang Nubo over the next 40 years. He has already paid the full amount in advance. The municipalities will form the shareholding company with their own money, and Huang Nubo also intends to invest about 20 billion ISK in the property, creating anywhere from 200 to 600 new jobs.
In so doing, Huang Nubo has avoided the tactic employed by Canadian company Magma Energy (now Alterra Energy) – to create a shell company in Scandinavia and attempt to buy land through that – although he has said from the beginning that he had no intentions of adopting this strategy.
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