Saudi worries throw future of second Softbank Vision Fund into doubt

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The State Department has urged a thorough investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance and called on Saudi Arabia to be transparent about the results - advice broadly tracking messages from allies in Europe.

Khashoggi, a well-known critic of Saudi Arabia's regime, disappeared after walking into the Saudi consulate on October 2. Turkish officials say they believe he was murdered there and his body removed.

According to a United Nations report earlier this year, direct foreign investment in Saudi Arabia fell to $1.4 billion in 2017, the lowest level in 14 years.

Citing an "official source", the kingdom's press agency said that that it will not succumb to any political or economical pressures and nothing can as such can harm the economical position of the kingdom.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington tweeted Sunday night it appreciated America "for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation", likely trying to walk back the rhetoric.

Saudi Arabia provided $45 billion for the fund, and unease over SoftBank's ties to the kingdom dragged down its shares earlier this week.

The possible murder of Khashoggi, a U.S. permanent resident in self-imposed exile who had written critically against the Saudi monarchy, has generated a far stronger global backlash against the kingdom than the ongoing Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has caused widespread starvation in the already impoverished Arab country.

In response to the US' threatened measures, Saudi Arabia is retorting with threatening measures of their own, highlighting a list of 30 potential counter-moves if the U.S. strikes out against them. Hunt later said that if Saudi Arabia were proven to be guilty, "we would have to think about the appropriate way to react in that situation".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, hurriedly sent to Riyadh, expected to get more clarity during talks with Saudi leaders Tuesday. "If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure", he wrote.

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Khashoggi has written extensively for the Post about Saudi Arabia, criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving. "They add up to an impression of impulsive policy-making, and that worries investors", the banker said.

Saudi Arabia is a key partner for Switzerlandexternal link in the Arab world and the Middle East region.

JP Morgan Chase and Ford did not comment on whether the decision was related to concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi.

The kingdom has appointed Son as an advisor for its planned $500 billion NEOM high-tech city, and in October past year, it said it was considering selling a large stake in Saudi Electricity Co to the Vision Fund.

USA senators called for reactions ranging from boycotting an upcoming economic summit in Riyadh to ending support for Saudi military operations in Yemen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told CNN on Sunday.

Both Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, and West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, were up just less than 1%, at $81.21 and $71.87 a barrel, holding just below nearly four-year highs reached October 3. By close, it had recovered some losses, ending down 3.5 percent and losing $16.5 billion of market value. The act has in the past imposed visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials.

The UAE has affirmed full solidarity with Saudi Arabia against all attempts to undermine its regional stature and fundamental role in establishing regional peace and security, said a senior UAE government official.

Pro-government Turkish media on Wednesday published new allegations that Khashoggi was killed by being gradually dismembered in the consulate by a Saudi assassination squad. There is no alternative to carrying out this inspection.

"It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be difficult" the Turkish official said.

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