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Mon Nov 6, 2017 8:42am
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Nope. Nothing to see here.
Kushners’ China Deal Flop Was Part of Much Bigger Hunt for Cash
By David Kocieniewski and Caleb Melby
August 31, 2017
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, wakes up each morning to a growing problem that will not go away. His family’s real estate business, Kushner Cos., owes hundreds of millions of dollars on a 41-story office building on Fifth Avenue. It has failed to secure foreign investors, despite an extensive search, and its resources are more limited than generally understood. As a result, the company faces significant challenges.

Over the past two years, executives and family members have sought substantial overseas investment from previously undisclosed places: South Korea’s sovereign-wealth fund, France’s richest man, Israeli banks and insurance companies, and exploratory talks with a Saudi developer, according to former and current executives. These were in addition to previously reported attempts to raise money in China and Qatar.

The family, once one of the largest landlords on the East Coast, sold thousands of apartments to finance its purchase of the tower in 2007 and has borrowed extensively for other purchases. They are walking away from a Brooklyn hotel once considered central to their plans for an office hub. From other properties, they are extracting cash, including tens of millions in borrowed funds from the recently acquired former New York Times building. What’s more, their partner in the Fifth Avenue building, Vornado Realty Trust, headed by Steve Roth, has stood aside, allowing the Kushners to pursue financing on their own.

Kushner Cos. says it will prevail. Laurent Morali, the president, said the company has a variety of contingency plans for the building and its broader portfolio will allow it to sustain any setback. He said he is encouraged by the interest of several potential investors, but declined to name them.

Poor guy! Sounds like he has some serious troubles!
Kushner took unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia
By ANNIE KARNI 10/29/2017 02:03 PM EDT
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner returned home Saturday from an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia — his third trip to the country this year.

Kushner left Washington, D.C., via commercial airline on Wednesday for the trip, which was not announced to the public, a White House official told POLITICO. He traveled separately from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who led a delegation to Riyadh last week to focus on combating terrorist financing.

The White House official would not say who Kushner met with in Saudi Arabia. But he has cultivated a relationship with the crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, who, like Kushner, is in his 30s. Kushner arrived back in Washington, D.C., on Saturday night in time for a surprise birthday dinner for his wife, Ivanka Trump, at the Trump International Hotel.

Okay.
Saudi Crown Prince’s Mass Purge Upends a Longstanding System
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICKNOV. 5, 2017
LONDON — A midnight blitz of arrests ordered by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia over the weekend has ensnared dozens of its most influential figures, including 11 of his royal cousins, in what by Sunday appeared to be the most sweeping transformation in the kingdom’s governance for more than eight decades.

The arrests, ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman without formal charges or any legal process, were presented as a crackdown on corruption. They caught both the kingdom’s richest investor, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and the most potent remaining rival to the crown prince’s power: Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah, a favored son of the late King Abdullah.

Prince Mutaib had been removed from his post as chief of a major security service just hours before the arrests announced late Saturday night.
All members of the royal family were barred from leaving the country, American officials tracking the developments said on Sunday.

With the new detentions, Crown Prince Mohammed, King Salman’s favored son and key adviser, now appears to have established control over all three Saudi security services — the military, internal security services and national guard. For decades they had been distributed among branches of the House of Saud clan to preserve a balance of power in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest oil producer and an important American ally.

“It is the coup de grâce of the old system,” said Chas W. Freeman, a former United States ambassador. “Gone. All power has now been concentrated in the hands of Mohammed bin Salman.”

President Trump on Sunday appeared to give a tacit endorsement of the arrests in a phone call with King Salman. A White House summary of the call contained no references to the arrests, and said Mr. Trump had praised Crown Prince Mohammed for other matters.

Three White House advisers, including the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, returned just days ago from the latest in at least three high-level Trump administration visits to Saudi Arabia this year.

Hmmm. What a coincidence.
Trump Tells Saudi King That He Supports Modernization Drive
By MARK LANDLERNOV. 5, 2017

TOKYO — President Donald J. Trump has spoken with the king of Saudi Arabia to offer a wholehearted endorsement of a drive to modernize the kingdom, as the Saudi authorities arrested scores of prominent business people and ministers in a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown.

In an unusually lengthy and detailed readout of the call made on Saturday, the White House said that Mr. Trump had thanked King Salman for Saudi Arabia’s support in fighting terrorism and for its purchase of military equipment from the United States. And he praised the king’s favorite son and top adviser, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for his recent calls for tolerance and moderation in Saudi society.

“The king and crown prince’s recent public statements regarding the need to build a moderate, peaceful and tolerant region are essential to ensuring a hopeful future for the Saudi people, to curtailing terrorist funding, and to defeating radical ideology — once and for all — so the world can be safe from its evil,” the White House said in the statement.

The White House statement made no mention of the scores of arrests, including that of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire investor who has held stakes in an array of Western companies, including the News Corporation, Citigroup and Twitter. Prince Mohammed, who has already sidelined rivals to the throne, is viewed as the mastermind behind the crackdown.

Prince Alwaleed sparred with Mr. Trump on Twitter during the presidential election, referring to him as a “disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America.” Mr. Trump fired back, also on Twitter, that he was a “dopey prince” trying to “control our U.S. politicians with daddy’s money.”

Hmmm. What a coincidence.
Will Saudi Aramco deliver world record profit for next year's IPO?
Business News September 8, 2017 / 2:07 AM
LONDON (Reuters) - When oil giant Saudi Aramco discloses its financials for the first time next year, it must either surprise investors with world record profits or reduce its aspirations for a $2 trillion valuation in its initial public offering (IPO). [IPO-ARMO.SE]

Investors have long debated whether Aramco could be valued anywhere close to $2 trillion, the figure suggested by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who wants to raise cash through the IPO to finance investments aimed at helping wean the world’s biggest oil exporting nation off dependency on crude.

Based on Aramco’s oil reserves of 261 billion barrels and a valuation of $7 to $8 per barrel in line with recent industry acquisitions - such as Total’s (TOTF.PA) purchase of Maersk’s oil assets - Aramco warrants close to the $2 trillion valuation.

Wow! $2 TRILLION!! That sure is a lot of money!

Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.


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