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SoftBank's Saudi ties unnerve investors as shares drop 8 percent

18 October, 2018, 05:49 | Author: Sara Gill
  • Jamal Khashoggi in Manama Bahrain. Turkey claims that Khashoggi who wrote for The Washington Post was killed inside a Saudi diplomatic mission in Turkey

"The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations", the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted an unnamed government source as saying.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and United States permanent resident whose writings have been critical of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been missing since entering the country's consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2.

Earlier on Sunday, the Saudi stock market plunged almost seven percent amid fears of imminent sanctions by the USA after President Donald Trump threatened a severe punishment if the kingdom was found responsible for the journalist's disappearance.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and critic of Riyadh's policies, disappeared on October 2 after entering his country's diplomatic mission in Istanbul.

"To help clarify recently issued Saudi statement, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends its appreciation to all, including the USA administration, for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation", the statement said.

Later, at the White House, he reiterated that there would be "powerful consequences" for Saudi Arabia.

They said there must be a credible investigation to establish the truth and "if relevant" identify those responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance. That includes the CEO of Uber, a company in which Saudi Arabia has invested billions of dollars, as well as billionaire Richard Branson.

The Saudi consulate referred Reuters to authorities in Riyadh who did not respond to questions about the 15 Saudis.

Media companies and some technology executives have pulled out of a major Saudi investment conference dubbed "Davos in the Desert", scheduled for next week in Riyadh, because of growing outrage over the disappearance.

"We would be very upset and angry if that were the case", he said of Saudi Arabia's potential responsibility. Turkish officials fear Khashoggi was killed and dismembered, allegations Saudi officials call "baseless".

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi monarchy, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey's capital Istanbul on October 2 and may have been killed there, according to Turkish officials.

In an "Silicon Valley's Saudi Arabia Problem", the New York Times outlines how liberal Silicon Valley tech firms struggle with the issue of taking money from Saudi Arabian investors while ignoring the countries many human rights violations.

"That lets us both go faster", Segars said.



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