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Mammoth $2.3b of Investment Held Up at the Border by Covid-19 Visa Rules

By Enry Cooke   Foreigners keen to invest up to $2.3 billion in New Zealand are unable to get visas because of Covid-19 restrictions, a situation National says is holding back “tens of thousands” of jobs.   A huge amount of cash is promised by applicants for the investor-class visa, which allows foreigners to gain residence in New Zealand if they promise to invest a certain amount of money into the economy.   A similar visa was famously used by US tech billionaire Peter Thiel to gain residency in the country, which he then used to gain citizenship.   Immigration...
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Chinese Investors Rush to Obtain Golden Visas in Portugal

By Schengen Visa Info   Portugal has registered an increasing number of Chinese citizens who are rushing to ‘buy’ citizenship in Portugal, through the Golden Visa Scheme, before the government puts the program to an end.   Investors from China are considering Lisbon and Porto as appropriate investment locations before both cities are removed from the passport for cash scheme, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.   “A total of €37 million (S$58.90 million) have been invested in Portugal from Chinese nationals, during the second quarter of this year, “which is twice their spending in all of 2019,” director of Maia International Properties, Luiz Felipe Maia pointed...
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UAE Extends 10-year Golden Visa System

By GC NewsDesk   Washington: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities on Sunday announced the decision to expand its Golden Visa system that grants 10-year residency for certain categories of professionals, including doctorate degree holders, doctors, computer programmers, and biotechnology engineers.   UAE Vice President and Dubai Emir Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum made this announcement, stating that specialists in the field of artificial intelligence, big data, and epidemiology, as well as best-performing students from certain high schools and universities, will also be eligible for “golden” visas.     As per a report by Sputnik, the UAE government allowed for the...
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Rich Americans Increasingly Are Looking for Second Passports

By Devon Pendleton and Ben Stupples   Eric Schmidt acquired all the typical trappings of a mega-rich U.S. citizen: a superyacht, a Gulfstream jet, a Manhattan penthouse.   One of his newest assets is far less conventional: a second passport.   Alphabet Inc.’s former chief executive officer applied to become a citizen of Cyprus, according to an announcement last month in a Cypriot newspaper that was first reported by the website Recode. Schmidt, 65, joins a growing club of individuals participating in government programs enabling foreigners to acquire passports.   In previous years, U.S. citizens rarely sought to buy so-called golden passports. The...
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'Golden Passports': Malta Takes 67 Days to Respond to EU

By NIKOLAJ NIELSEN   Two dozen letters have been exchanged between the European Commission and Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta over their controversial 'Golden Passport' schemes, by which rich foreigners can gain EU citizenship for large sums of money.   The letters - sent over the past 12 months - offer fresh insight into how the European Commission is trying to clamp down on a scheme it says violates EU rules.   It also shows how slow some of the states are to respond to the inquiries - with Malta taking 67 days to respond to the commission's first letter, followed by...
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For Asia’s Super-Rich, Singapore Family Offices Keep the Wealth Churning – but Hong Kong Wants a Piece of the Pie too

By Kok Xinghui   Singapore is popularly known as an Asian financial hub where companies set up regional headquarters and rich individuals park their wealth. In recent years, it has also been attracting another sort of investment through a vehicle that is just gaining popularity in the region: corporate entities called family offices that moneyed families use to structure the way they invest and preserve their riches.   From 2017 to 2019, the number of family offices in Singapore grew by five times as the region got wealthier. Some of these offices were set up by Singaporean families who want to manage their assets better,...
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Cayman’s Offshore Banking Sector Shows First-quarter Growth

By Michael Klein   In the first quarter of 2020, the assets and liabilities of Cayman Islands banks both increased for the first time in years.   The number of resident banks declined to 124 at the end of March, down from 125 at the end of 2019 and 133 at the end of 2018. But banking assets grew from US$662.7 billion to $727.5 billion in the first quarter and corresponding liabilities jumped from $662.2 billion to $723.9 billion, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority statistics show.   Since the financial crisis in 2007, cross-border assets and liabilities reported by banks licensed in...
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China $214 Billion Fund Manager Looks to Boost Overseas Inflows

With assistance by Charlie Zhu, Evelyn Yu, Mengchen Lu, and Dingmin Zhang   One of China’s largest asset managers is targeting to almost double the foreign cash it oversees as the nation’s economic rise and financial opening increase demand.   China Asset Management Co. will seek to grow such assets to at least $10 billion over the next few years, up from about $6 billion, Richard Pan, head of Global Capital Investment at the Beijing-based firm, said in an interview. Its assets under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor plan -- a program that allows foreigners to invest in China -- have...