Iceland rejects Chinese investor’s land bid

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Series Details 26.11.11
Publication Date 26/11/2011
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Iceland blocked a Chinese billionaire’s bid to buy 300 square kilometres of wild heathland in November 2011 following concerns that the vast land sale would give Beijing a strategic foothold in the North Atlantic.

Ögmundur Jónasson, Iceland’s interior minister, rejected the application by Huang Nubo, one of China’s richest men, on the 25 November 2011, saying it breached rules on investments by non-European companies. To make an exception of the law in this case would set a 'dangerous precedent'.

However the bid had the tacit backing of Iceland’s president and its foreign and economics ministries, although it was up to the interior ministry to rule on such deals.

Related Links
ESO: Background information: Iceland’s president welcomes Chinese interest
ESO: Background information: Chinese investment in Europe to surge

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