Saudi worries throw future of second Softbank Vision Fund into doubt

Saudi worries throw future of second Softbank Vision Fund into doubt

Saudi worries throw future of second Softbank Vision Fund into doubt

JP Morgan & Chase Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and Ford Motor Co Chairman Bill Ford canceled plans to attend a Saudi investor conference, the companies said on Sunday, the latest such high-profile announcements after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a USA resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh's policies, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The New York Times, citing a person familiar with the Saudi plans, reported the crown prince had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.

"As necessity now arises to clarify the facts associated with this crisis in a neutral and honest manner, we reaffirm our categorical rejection of the repercussions of the politicised anti-Saudi campaign".

A pro-government Turkish daily published preliminary evidence last week from investigators who it said had identified a 15-member Saudi intelligence team that arrived in Istanbul on diplomatic passports hours before Khashoggi disappeared.

Saudi Arabia's riyal was quoted at 3.7514 to the US dollar in the spot market early on Monday, its weakest rate since June 2017, Refinitiv data showed, as the kingdom faced pressure over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The possible murder of Khashoggi, a USA permanent resident in self-imposed exile who had written critically against the Saudi monarchy, has generated a far stronger worldwide backlash against the kingdom than the ongoing Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has caused widespread starvation in the already impoverished Arab country. "We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial". Saudi Arabia meanwhile said King Salman thanked Erdogan "for welcoming the kingdom's proposal" for forming the working group.

Saudi Arabia is suspected to be responsible for the disappearance of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a case which has global impact.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, hurriedly sent to Riyadh, expected to get more clarity during talks with Saudi leaders Tuesday.

Prodded Saturday to specify what type of "severe punishment" he could impose, Trump demurred.

Saudi Arabia is a key partner for Switzerlandexternal link in the Arab world and the Middle East region. A Saudi-owned satellite channel later suggested the world's largest oil exporter could wield that production as a weapon against America.

Trump quoted the King on Monday as saying that neither he nor his son, the crown prince, had any information about what had happened to Khashoggi. Trump said he didn't "want to get into (Salman's) mind", but told reporters: "it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Trump said he'd made clear the stakes.

Neither JP Morgan nor Ford would elaborate on the reasons for the decision not to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh later this month, and did not comment on whether concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi were a factor.

And Rubio said that no USA government officials should be attending the Saudi conference until they get some official answers about what happened.

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