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CEO Orders to Abolish
Investment Immigration Policy
04 Apr 2007

Prior to 4th April 2007, the "Investment Immigration Policy" simply required the prospective immigration applicant to purchase a $1.0m's value of property in Macau and place $0.5m in bank as time deposit account. Upon approval by the Government the immigrant would get a Macau citizenship status in due course.

However, in the annual Question and Answer Session of the Legislative Council held on 3rd of April 2007, The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Edmond Ho announced to call off investment immigration application with immediate effect as one of the measures to cool down the spiral raising property price. This view is supported by Mr Ronald Cheung, Chief Executive Officer of Midland Realty (Macau) Limited who commented that this might be a good time for the market to digest the price and thereby cooling down the market, and creating a more orderly and healthy property market.

Mr Cheung said there were about 3,000 investment immigration applications last year, or on average about just over 200 applications per month. This is equivalent to about 10% of the number of transactions, and therefore the changing government policy has little or minimal practical effects on the market as a whole. To some extent, the policy is fair and reasonable in an attempt to combat the market and as a " feed back" to the voice from residents for the fear no affordable home in the market. Owing to the economic performance is exceedingly good, most investors as well as homeowners have optimistic view about the market and would like to see the market grow steadily rather than rapidly. So most people consider that it is not a bad idea to "take a break" and let the market self-adjust itself.

Presently, the market is somewhat chaotic in that the asking price is far too high than its reality because of the false hope of the vendors may have. So the Government must do some thing about it. Firstly, to pave the way for future economic growth; and secondly, to show the Government is a caring or listening government.

Apart from the market consolidate effects, the policy may also has the implication of raising the threshold amount and also education qualification requirements so as to improve the quality of immigrant to Macau should the policy re-opened in future.

In short, the changing policy is rather sudden but it is by no means unusual practice for the Government. It makes people think that the Government did care for people concerns, and also a good time for the market to consolidate for short and medium terms growth. The new policy would boost the confidence of home buyers as well as investor to enter the market to fill the gap left out by the then investment immigrants, so the price will not go down because the market sentiment is still very strong. Thus, it is anticipated that the market will be developed in more steady and healthy manner.

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