In two press releases ostensibly issued on the same day nearly three months ago but about which nobody seems to have heard, the Vanuatu Government states that it has appointed a single master agent to oversee its new Real Estate Option (REO), which already has four approved projects.
The company afforded the privilege of administering all applications for Vanuatu citizenship on the basis of a real estate investment is one “Naika Holdings Limited”, a company about which hardly any public information is available.
All other agents must submit their REO applications through Naika Holdings, which will in turn file the same with the Citizenship Commission.
According to the Vanuatu Citizenship Commission, Naika Holdings has, in turn, appointed an exclusive marketing agent to promote the REO internationally: Vanuatu Migration Services Limited (VMSL), a company the Commission indicates may be reached via this website, titled Vanuatu Citizenship Services.
The page contains but a few pages, none of which say much about the company except that it’s headquartered in Port Vila. The website says nothing about who is behind Naika Holdings, nor how they came to be appointed the sole master agent for the REO.
The Commission’s website lists one Roy MacDonald as the contact person for the REO. Who is Roy MacDonald? According to his Linkedin profile, he is a former manager of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC).
The same VFSC maintains a registry of companies domiciled in Vanuatu. Searches through its registry turn up no results for the terms “Naika”, “Roy MacDonald”, “Vanuatu Citizenship Services”, or “Vanuatu Migration Services”.
The Commission’s statement lists four projects as approved by the government under the REO:
- “Pacific Springs” situated at Rentabao on the island of Efate;
- “Narpow Point Coral Bay” situated at Narpow Point on the island of Efate;
- “FPF Rainbow City Project” situated at Narpow Point on the island of Efate;
- “Milai” situated on the island of Espiritu Santo.
Public domain searches for the developments render very little in the way of information on the projects: About Pacific Springs at Rentabao and Narpow Point Coral Bay, there is no public information available. Milai, on Espiritu Santo, is apparently a livestock farm project. Its listed website is inactive.
Of the four projects, the only one with an online presence is FPF Rainbow City. This enormous, ambitious project, it appears, was first introduced some four years ago and is still at the early stages of construction. Promotional materials on its website indicates it will have thousands of dwellings, a five-star hotel, a six-star hotel, shopping areas, schools, a Buddhist academy and a church, sports grounds, and a medical center. Behind the project is a Chinese woman named Ruimin Cheng who, according to Australia’s ABC News, has lived in Vanuatu for more than a decade and goes by the name Amy Feng.
In its official press release, the Citizenship Commission makes no mention of a minimum investment amount. The website listed as affiliated with Naika, however, states the following:
The Minimum Sale Price for the qualifying property under the REO Program is USD $200,000.00. Each VGAP [ed: Vanuatu Government Approved Project] may have more expensive options for applicants to suit their needs. Applicants may acquire a 50% interest as tenant in common in a qualifying property for USD$100,000.00.
Does this mean the minimum investment is US$100,000 or US$200,000? We’re unable to answer that question for the moment. None of the Vanuatu DSP agents with whom IMI has been in touch were able to provide additional information on Naika Holdings or the REO itself.
The announcement of a real estate option under Vanuatu’s program raises a variety of questions:
- Why, if these press releases were supposedly published at the end of August, are they only surfacing online now?
- How come none of the DSP’s other agents know anything about the REO?
- Who is behind Naika Holdings Limited and how did the company come to obtain exclusive rights to file REO applications?
- Why can we find nothing about Naika Holdings Limited – or its representatives – online or, indeed, in Vanuatu’s company register?
- What is the official minimum investment? US$200,000, US$100,000, or some other amount entirely?
- Why did the government not announce any official price in its press releases?
- By which process were the approved developments selected?
- Is the real estate investment option a part of the Vanuatu Development Support Program or the Vanuatu Contribution Program, or is it a program unto itself? I.e., will Vanuatu now have a third CIP?
- Why was there no public tender in Vanuatu for the concession of an exclusive right to submit files to the government under the REO?
Any additional information or tips regarding the matter will be greatly appreciated and followed up in subsequent articles in IMI.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.