An­bang, Kush­ner firm call off Man­hat­tan tower talks

New Straits Times - - Business -

NEW YORK: China’s An­bang In­sur­ance Group Co and a com­pany co-owned by the fam­ily of United States President Don­ald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kush­ner have ended talks to re­de­velop a Man­hat­tan of­fice tower, a deal that had drawn scru­tiny from law­mak­ers cit­ing ethics con­cerns.

An­bang had dis­cussed in­vest­ing more than US$400 mil­lion (RM1.76 bil­lion) as part of a US$4 bil­lion trans­ac­tion with Kush­ner Cos that may have in­cluded terms that some real es­tate ex­perts con­sid­ered un­usu­ally favourable for the Kush­n­ers, Bloomberg re­ported ear­lier this month.

The prop­erty has been los­ing money for three years and faces in­creas­ing loan fees this year, which may ex­plain why the Kush­ner fam­ily was ne­go­ti­at­ing with An­bang on new fi­nanc­ing.

Five law­mak­ers raised ethics con­cerns about the Chi­nese firm’s po­ten­tial in­vest­ment af­ter the news emerged.

The law­mak­ers asked the White House in a March 24 let­ter to ex­plain whether Kush­ner was in­volved in any ne­go­ti­a­tions about the pos­si­ble part­ner­ship with An­bang and also asked for ad­di­tional de­tails on Kush­ner’s di­vest­ment from his fam­ily’s com­pany.

“This deal, if ex­e­cuted, would ap­pear to present a clear con­flict of in­ter­est,” the law­mak­ers wrote to Stefan Pas­santino, White House deputy coun­sel. An­bang has “close ties to the Chi­nese state,” they added. Bloomberg

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