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Chinese investors are still interested in Cyprus passports

05.07.2019

The South China Morning Post newspaper reports that Chinese investors are interested in Cyprus passports, despite the more stringent criteria introduced last month.

Chinese investors are thronging the sunny shores of Cyprus in search of real estate and passports that will allow them to work, travel and live in the European Union. “Cyprus is a great place that offers a very high quality of life, access to Europe and good investment opportunities in real estate. One of the main catalysts for foreign investment is the Cyprus Investment Program, which is very popular with mainland Chinese, ”according to Carrie Low, executive director and director of the real estate portal Juwai.com.

As part of a program launched in 2013, the purchase of a property worth 2 million euros allows investors and their families to obtain Cyprus passports, which are granted with all EU citizenship rights. The scheme also requires donations of € 75,000 each for the Cyprus Research and Development Fund. Permanent residence can also be obtained by investing 300,000 euros in a completely new property. The permanent residence program provides ease of travel throughout the EU and requires one visit to Cyprus of all family members once every two years.

Cyprus has attracted 4.8 billion Euros from the sale of passports under the investment program since 2013, according to a recent study by international anti-corruption observers Transparency International and Global Witness. And although there is no official data on citizens who bought property in Cyprus, industry representatives reported that over half of these transactions fell to the share of Chinese and other Asian investors.

Cyprus Land Department data show that in the first five months of this year, sales of residential buildings, commercial real estate and land reached 4846, which is 34 percent more than in the same period in 2018. Foreign buyers mainly buy residential real estate.

In May, real estate sales reached 1,423, surpassing the previous record of 1,157 sales, set in September 2008. All transactions in the period from January to May amounted to 1.45 billion euros, an increase of 7.6% compared with 1.35 billion euros recorded in the same period last year. “Chinese buyers and investors have made a great contribution to the construction sector in Cyprus. The Paphos district attracts many Chinese buyers, as developers from this region were the first to visit China to promote their projects, ”said Sakis Hadzhialeksandru, marketing manager of the group at Leptos Estates.

With a Cyprus passport, investors can easily move to the UK, Switzerland or any of the 28 EU countries. ” Kenneth Kent, head of the Hong Kong office in the Australian real estate online advertising company REA Group, said that EU membership in Cyprus has increased investor confidence. “Being part of the EU gives much more legal protection and transparency. This is of great interest to foreign investors, ”he said.

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