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SoftBanks Saudi ties unnerve investors as shares drop 8 percent

18 October, 2018, 05:49 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • Brian Snyder  ReutersSen. Jeff Flake speaks at the Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester N.H. Oct. 1 2018

The de-facto ruler of the Gulf kingdom, who is next in line to be king, is cited in the reports as holding an interest in purchasing the historic sporting institution to give his ruling family an investment to rival those of the Abu Dhabi-ruling owners of Manchester City and the Qatari-backed Paris Saint Germain.

In a joint statement Mr Hunt, his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian and Germany's Heiko Maas said whoever was responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance must be held to account. The Saudi stock market dropped by 7% on Sunday after Trump threatened of "severe punishment" which spooked investors.

Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

U.S. senators have triggered a provision of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act requiring the president to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for a gross human rights violation.

But top business leaders are now distancing themselves from the Saudi government.

In response to Khashoggi's disappearance, media organizations and some technology executives pulled out of the Riyadh investment conference scheduled for next week.

The Washington Post, citing unidentified USA and Turkish officials, reported that Turkey had told US officials it has audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. United States President Donald Trump said on Friday that he will speak to Saudi king Salman on the matter.

"Something this big would definitely spook investors, and Saudi just opened up for foreign direct investment, so that was big", said Issam Kassabieh, a financial analyst at Dubai-based firm Menacorp Finance.

Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice Cengiz revealed how the couple spent their last hours together, writing that "tyrants eventually pay for their sins", in a New York Times article on Saturday. "He told me to alert the Turkish authorities if I did not hear from him soon".

"I had planned a party, inviting his closest friends to surround him with the love and warmth that he had missed", she wrote.

The director-general of the worldwide monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, said on Saturday "horrified" by the case Khashoggi, but has confirmed his participation at the meeting organized by Riyadh. But she said, "If he makes a genuine contribution to the efforts to reveal what happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that day, I will consider accepting his invitation".

The Swiss government could decide on a case-by-case basis whether to impose economic sanctions on Saudi Arabia, a SECO spokesman said.

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