Monday, 12 November, 2018

Khashoggi Scandal: Analysts Blame Saudi Ties for SoftBank Share Drop

Missing Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi with his fiance Hatice Cengiz Missing Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi with his fiance Hatice Cengiz
Andy Castillo | 18 October, 2018, 05:48

"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.

Concern over the disappearance has seen a growing number of attendees pull out of a "Davos in the Desert" investment conference set for October 23-25, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reform vision.

That a landmark event which will see senior figures from the ruling class of the nation mingle with multinational corporations and figures from the finance world with a view to accelerating investment in the country, but has hit trouble after a diplomatic crisis over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last week.

Saudi Arabia is also one of the key markets for Uber in the Middle East.

SoftBank shares decline by worries over its ties to Saudi Arabia as well as a broader market sell-off.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman also spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday about Khashoggi's whereabouts and are considering establishing a "working group" to discuss the case, Turkish and Saudi state-run media reported.

Google will start charging Android smartphone makers to use its apps
Google has now filed an appeal against the ruling, continuing to argue that Android helps competition rather than hinder it. Forked versions of Android haven't really performed well apart from China, where most Google services are banned.

Khashoggi "promised me to sponsor the project and I guess they could listen in to those conversations", he said.

A pro-government Turkish daily published preliminary evidence last week from investigators it said identified a 15-member Saudi intelligence team which arrived in Istanbul on diplomatic passports hours before Khashoggi disappeared on October 2.

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

Under Son, SoftBank built its global influence through tech investments and raised over $93 billion past year to create its Vision Fund - with $45 billion coming from Saudi Arabia. According to Turkey, he was then tortured, killed and dismembered.

Long before the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished, the kingdom has sought influence in the West - perhaps intended, in part, to make us forget what it is. At least some of them appear to have high-level connections in the Saudi government.

"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.

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