In the first half of 2017, Antigua & Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Programme received 27% more applications – 187 compared to 147 – than in the first half of 2016, shows the Citizenship by Investment Unit’s 6-month report, published today.
The set of figures released covers the period preceding last year’s dreadful hurricane season which, beyond wreaking havoc and costing lives, became the pretext for a series of price cuts among Caribbean CIPs. In October last year, Antigua & Barbuda lowered its NDF contribution requirement from US$ 200,000 to US$ 100,000, citing a collapse in interest in its program due to discounts among its competitors.
Between January 1st and June 31st, 2017, Chinese nationals were, by far, the greatest investor group, accounting for 51% of all applicants in H1 2017, and about 43% of the total since the program opened. Bangladeshi applicants, the runners-up, made up 7% of CIP participants, followed closely by Syrians (4.28%), Indians (3.74%), and Saudis (3.74%).
38% of applicants – 71 out of 187 – chose the NDF contribution option, a figure drastically lower than the 114 seen during the same period a year before.
The number of applicants choosing real estate investment, meanwhile, rose from 20 during H1 2016 to 38 in H1 2017, making up a fifth of the total.
Remarkably, business investment, ordinarily the least popular of the program’s three investment options, rose by 600%, from 13 in H1 2016 to 78 in the first half of last year, thus becoming the most popular option.