Chinese tycoon inks Iceland land lease deal

Date: 04 May 2012

Six months after his attempt to buy a remote corner of northeast Iceland was rejected by the Icelandic Government, Chinese tycoon Huang Nubo has signed a deal to lease the property instead, granting Nubo 70% of the original 300 sq km area for a period of 40 years. It is estimated that approximately 20 billion Icelandic Krona (US$160 million) will be invested and about 400–600 jobs will be created.

The government previously rejected Huang’s original proposal to pay about 1 billion Icelandic Krona (US$8 million) for the land, with plans to build a golf course, hotel, and outdoor recreation area. This plan was rejected last November on the basis that Huang’s proposal failed to meet the legal requirements for foreign land ownership. Huang, Chairman of Beijing-based Zhongkun Investment Group, declared that he plans to build tourism infrastructure in the sparsely populated area as part of Iceland’s recovery from the national financial crisis following the catastrophic collapse of its banking sector in 2008.

The new agreement will be presented to the government on Friday, with the government expected to retain a 20% share of the land, but with some local farmers having not yet agreed to the lease.

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