Seeking bigger yields than currently available in the United States and the bigger EU markets, Chinese investors are increasingly turning to the Cyprus hotel sector.
Long a favourite destination for both investors and tourists from Russia, China is increasingly making its presence felt in the property market (although with only 27 visits from Chinese citizens in August, much less so as a holiday choice).
But despite their reticence to visit the island so far, the offer of citizenship is also thought to be part of the attraction. By investing $2.5 million or more in certain parts of the Cypriot economy, foreign citizens can qualify for citizenship by naturalisation. “Chinese investors are fast catching up with Russians when it comes to Cypriot passports,” a Cypriot finance ministry official told the Cyprus Weekly.
Hotel investments have so far been a favourite for the Chinese. A consortium is planning a five star hotel in the Sotria area of Famagusta, and Macau-based Melco is hoping to open Cyprus’ first casino.
Lawrence Ho, Melco Group Chairman and CEO said, “Melco is looking forward to continue exploring the emerging gaming jurisdiction and collaborating with the Cyprus Government for what it considers to be in the best interest of Cyprus.”
While yields in traditional Chinese investment destinations remain low, Cyprus is expected to continue to develop strong links with the world’s second largest economy. That would be a huge boon for the divided island. According to Bloomberg Chinese companies have announced $157.2 billion in deals so far this year.