Trump owes tens of millions to Bank of China

  • The president’s financial dealings with the state-owned bank complicate his attacks on Biden.

Donald Trump is warning “China will own the United States” if Joe Biden is elected president.

But Trump himself has taken on debt from China. In 2012, his real estate partner refinanced one of Trump’s most prized New York buildings for almost $1 billion. The debt included $211 million from the state-owned Bank of China, which matures in the middle of what could be Trump’s second term.

Steps from Trump Tower in Manhattan, the 43-story 1290 Avenue of the Americas skyscraper spans an entire city block. Trump owns a30 percent stake in the property valued atmore than $1 billion, making it one of the priciest addresses in his portfolio, according to his financial disclosures.

Trump’s ownership of the building received a smattering of attention before and after his 2016 campaign. But the arrangement with the Bank of China in 2012 has gone largely unnoticed. The questions surrounding Trump’s ties to the Bank of China come as his campaign is claiming that Biden would be a gift to the Communist country and America’s chief economic rival.

[After the first version of this article was published, Bank of China issued a statement Friday evening stating that it sold its debt on the building weeks after the 2012 loan on the property. Vornado Realty Trust owns 70 percent of the building.

“On November 7, 2012 several financial institutions including the Bank of China participated in a commercial mortgage loan of $950 million to Vornado Realty Trust,” said Peter Reisman, managing director and chief communications officer of Bank of China U.S.A. “Within 22 days, the loan was securitized and sold into the [commercial mortgage-backed securities] market, as is a common practice in the industry. Bank of China has not had any ownership interest in that loan since late November 2012.”

Another public document, however, lists Bank of China as a creditor on 1290 Avenue of the Americas even after the bank said it was no longer involved in the property. Filed in2017 with the New York City Department of Finance Office of the Register, it lists the Bank of China as a secured party having a financial interest in the building’s fixtures — such as air conditioning systems and toilets — in case of default on the loan.

The Bank of China said it was listed because of a “technical error,” a statement that on Monday was confirmed by Wells Fargo, which services the mortgage and which had the document in question filed on its behalf.]

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Source: Marc Caputo, Meridith Mcgraw, and Anita Kumar, politico.com/news/2020/04/24/trump-biden-china-debt-205475

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