Huang Nubo had hoped to sink $200 million into a proposed tourism project in Iceland, as previously reported by AdvisorOne.com, but after the country rejected his original target he has proposed alternatives–and also turned his attention toward Finland and Denmark as potential sites for so-called holiday villages.
Reuters reported that security concerns prompted the Icelandic government to decline an offer by Huang to purchase, for $8.8 million, Grimsstadir farm in northeastern Iceland. The farm is a 186-square-mile property where he planned to build a golf course, hotel and outdoor recreation area. Its decision came at the end of November. After accusing the Icelandic government of "hypocrisy and deep prejudice," Huang proposed alternative deals, and now has broadened his view to additional countries in the region.
Saying that although he is still in talks with Iceland on alternatives, which include leasing rather than buying land for his projects, Huang added that he is now looking farther afield, to Denmark and Finland, where he hopes to build similar, albeit smaller, tourism projects.
He was quoted in the report saying, “Right now, the Iceland government is still deciding on the investment, but I won’t wait either.” Speaking after an event at the China Europe International Business School, Huang said, “I am now in talks with Finland and Denmark about investing there.” He has also mentioned the possibility of investing in Norway.
Icelandic officials had disapproved Huang’s plans for the Grimsstadir farm, citing security concerns but also saying that the transfer of property would be “incompatible” with the country’s laws, according to the Reykjavik-based Internal Affairs Ministry.
The ministry had said that the deal did not meet legal requirements for land sales to companies outside the European Economic Area, including that company directors must be Icelandic citizens or permanent residents for at least five years, and that 80% of shares in purchasing firms should be held by Icelandic citizens.