Indonesian firm cancels Chinese loan for its Trump project

Business News

Donald Trump Jr., right, son of U.S. President Donald Trump, and Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) Group President and CEO Hary Tanoesoedibjo give thumb up sign as they pose for photographers during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. U.S. President Trump’s son and his Indonesian business partner say a theme park that also features a Trump hotel and condos will no longer have Chinese financing. (AP Photo/Fadlan Syam)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump’s son and his Indonesian business partner said Tuesday that a theme park that also features a Trump hotel and condos will no longer have Chinese financing.

In a move that alarmed Trump critics, MNC Land, the Indonesian company that is developing the theme park owned by Indonesian billionaire Hary Tanoesoedibjo, said in May that it had hired a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned Metallurgical Corp. of China to build the park in its West Java Lido City development just outside Jakarta.

“The theme park has nothing to do with the Trump Organization, we have to make it clear,” Tanoesoedibjo said at a news conference in the capital that was also attended by Donald Trump Jr. to introduce the launch of Trump Residences in West Java and Bali.

Tanoesoedibjo said his company and a Chinese bank had discussed a loan for his theme park.

“It was done by our team, but finally we dropped it,” he said, without elaborating.

News reports said a Chinese government-backed $500 million loan for the project had been signed, but that was denied by the company in May.

“It has nothing to do with Trump,” Trump Jr. said. “Obviously he (Tanoesoedibjo) has got a large development, and the two have nothing to do with each other.”

The property owner signed a deal four years earlier for the development to include a Trump-branded hotel along with a golf course, country club, luxury condominiums, mansions and villas — billed in its promotional material as “Trump Residences.” Together with a theme park, hotels, shops, homes and a dining and entertainment district that MNC is developing on its own, this first stage of “Lido City” is to occupy 3,000 hectares (7,413 acres).

Trump Residences in Lido alone sits on a 350-hectare (865-acre) plot that can be accessed directly through the newly opened Bocimi highway from Indonesia’s capital.

The two groups are also working together on the 102-hectare (250-acre) Trump International Resort, Golf Club and Residences located near Bali’s sacred Hindu temple of Tanah Lot. They promise breathtaking views and a super-sized golf course overlooking the temple.

The two Trump Residences projects in West Java and Bali are to cost about $1.7 billion. The Trump Organization will manage the properties under an agreement made with MNC Land in 2015, before Trump was elected.

Even though Trump’s involvement in the project predated his election, both deals raised concerns that foreign governments could influence his administration, which has been in a bitter trade war with China.

“My father is not at all involved, and he won’t make decisions that affect a country based on a real estate deal,” said Trump Jr., who is executive vice president of the Trump Organization. “We should be very … very clear about that.”

Tanoesoedibjo said the projects are basically funded by his group of companies.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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