Offshore bolt holes for wealthy South Africans
South Africans with at least R4m to spare are showing renewed interest in ‘residency and citizenship by investment’ programmes offered by countries like Portugal, Malta and Cyprus
Real estate agents and offshore investment advisers have noticed a spike in interest from wealthy South Africans looking to buy an offshore pied-à-terre in a bid to obtain a second passport. Industry players say the government’s plans to amend the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation and the recent sharp drop in the value of the rand have undoubtedly prompted fresh interest in investment opportunities abroad. Many are considering "residency and citizenship by investment" programmes as a hedge against political and economic uncertainty in SA. "We’ve seen a surge in interest among high net worth South Africans to externalise funds, particularly since April," says James Bowling, CEO and founder of relocation and investment firm Monarch & Co. "Residency and citizenship by investment programmes allow for a plan B, not only for the primary applicant but often … for their kids and future generations." It used to be mostly older, established families and busines...
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