Who owns Bohai Harvest RST? Hunter Biden still has 10% stake in Chinese equity firm despite promises to divest

Report finds that Hunter still owns a stake in the Chinese investment firm, which is also co-owned by the Bank of China


                            Who owns Bohai Harvest RST? Hunter Biden still has 10% stake in Chinese equity firm despite promises to divest
Joe and Hunter Biden with an insert of the BHR logo (Getty Images/LinkedIn)

100 days after Joe Biden became president, his son Hunter continues to have a stake in a Chinese investment firm. Biden reportedly still has a 10% stake in private equity firm Bohai Harvest RST (BHR) Equity Investment Fund Management Co, through his company Skaneateles LLC.

Hunter was also reportedly on the firm's board but stepped down from his role in October 2019 over mounting scrutiny as the elder Biden was in the heat of his campaign. That same month, Biden promised that "no one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they are a cabinet member, will, in fact, have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country."

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However, it seems like Hunter hasn't got the message. He still owns a stake in the firm and hasn't disinvested despite "working on it" for months. Back in February, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, "He has been working to unwind his investment, but I would certainly point you — he's a private citizen." She then passed the buck, adding, "I would point you to him or his lawyers on the outside on any update." 

The website of BHR, the Chinese firm where Hunter Biden still has a 10% stake. (BHR website)

Who owns Bohai Harvest RST?

The Chinese firm is co-owned by the state-controlled Bank of China, records show. The Daily Caller was the first to report on the story, after obtaining records from Chinese services Qixinbao and Baidu. According to the Caller, the bank "manages the equivalent of $2.1 billion in assets". Another stakeholder is the China Development Bank Capital. Both are state-owned firms, directly under the control of the Chinese Communist Party. Two US firms -- Thornton Group LLC and Rosemont Seneca Partners -- also own about 30% in BHR.

When BHR was founded in 2013, Biden initially served as an unpaid member of the board. "He served only as a member of its board of directors, which he joined based on his interest in seeking ways to bring Chinese capital to international markets," Hunter's lawyer George Mesires said in an October 2019 statement. In 2017, Hunter "committed to invest approximately $420,000 USD (as of 10/12/2019) to acquire a 10% equity position in BHR," the statement added. Reportedly, he took out a $150,000 capital loan with one of BHR’s Chinese-based partners in July 2017 to help fund his investment. That loan came due in December 2018, and Hunter was encouraged to extend it.

Mesires said Hunter would not receive any return on investment from BHR, but that may not be entirely true. The Caller noted in 2019 "emails located on a copy of Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop show that he was told on multiple occasions by his business partner Eric Schwerin that he could expect to receive significant payments from BHR beginning in 2019". Reportedly, BHR would serve as a revenue stream for him “over the next couple of years.” It is unclear if Biden did receive any payments from the company.

Hunter Biden listed as a member of BHR's board in 2019. (Twitter)

Nightmares for Joe Biden continues

On the campaign trail, Biden promised to lead a White House vastly different from his predecessor. He claimed that all foreign business relationships would not be tolerated, but has had to deal with Hunter's dealings many times since then. The investment in BHR is just a small headache for Biden, as compared to Burisma. Hunter's dealings with the Ukrainian company became a focal point of attack for Republicans during Trump's first impeachment. 

Since then, Republicans have frequently attacked Biden for working with his son to profit from foreign investments. Biden has repeatedly denied such claims and denied having any knowledge of his son's dealings. The question now is if Hunter will disinvest from BHR as he said he would, or if he will provide more fodder for Republicans. Either way, his business dealings are likely to have severe ramifications on Biden's presidency, as he strives to create an atmosphere different from that of the Trump administration. 

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