REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) - A Chinese entrepreneur's bid to create a vast nature retreat in Iceland was turned down by the north Atlantic island nation's government Friday, amid concern the deal would have handed a major chunk of territory to a foreign investor.
Iceland's interior ministry said it had rejected an application by the Zyongkun Group, a company controlled by Huang Nubo, a 55-year-old former Chinese government official, in part because no foreign buyer had ever bought so much land in the country.
Huang, one of China's wealthiest entrepreneurs, had sought to buy 30,639 hectares (120 square miles) of land on the north shore of Iceland in a deal which would have been worth about 1 billion Icelandic kronur ($8.8 million).
He had hoped the site in Iceland's northeast - which would have represented about 0.3 percent of the island's land mass - would attract about 10,000 guests a year and create scores of new jobs.
Iceland's Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, had previously said she would welcome Huang's investment, particularly as the nation recovers from the collapse of its banking industry in 2008.