Huang Nubo, a Chinese real estate tycoon, is buying a huge 300 square kilometers (115 square miles) of land in north-east Iceland, reports the FT.The purchase of the land, a rural area known as Grímsstadir á Fjöllum, has worried a number of people who wonder why such a huge amount of land — 0.3 per cent of Iceland’s total — is needed for Nubo’s plans for a hotel and golf course.
Iceland has a unique strategic position between the United States and Europe that some worry may be an ulterior motive for the purchase.
“China has been very active in buying up land around the world so we need to be aware of the international ramifications,” Ögmundur Jónasson, the Icelandic interior minister, told the Financial Times.
Nubo currently ranks #161 on Forbes’s 2010 list of China’s richest, and plans on buying the land for $8.8 million. He apparently has deep ties to the country, last year spending $1 million on an Icelandic cultural fund.