Softbank shares plummet amid concerns over Saudi ties

Fear the worst Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, France and Germany on Sunday expressed serious concerns about the fate of a missing Saudi Arabian journalist and called for an investigation into the case.

It has been hit by cancellations since news emerged that Mr Khashoggi, a critic of his home country and writer for the Washington Post, has not been seen since visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Almost two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi vanished in Istanbul, the shadow of the Saudi journalist's disappearance continues to loom ever larger.

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 United States strikes out against them.

A Turkish official told Reuters on Sunday that the Saudis had said they would allow the consulate to be searched, and that this would happen by the end of the weekend, though he conceded to "flexibility on this date".

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SoftBank's near $100bn Vision Fund, the company's venture capital arm leading investments into tech firms such as Uber, WeWork and NVIDIA, has attracted nearly half of its funds from Saudi Arabia.

The statement was issued as worldwide concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago. "We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial".

A SoftBank spokesman declined to confirm if SoftBank executives are still planning to attend next week's conference, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reform vision. "Because of the leadership, because of the location, because of the people in the kingdom, we can make it happen".

Son has built up strong ties with the Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

President Donald Trump suggested Monday that "rogue killers" could be responsible for the mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an explanation offering USA ally Saudi Arabia a possible path out of a global diplomatic firestorm.

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It's unclear, however, whether Saudi Arabia would be willing to unilaterally cut production.

"The anti-Saudi campaign will not impinge on the Kingdom's central role in the region which is rooted in logic and moderation", he said.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin still plans to attend a previously scheduled Saudi conference this week to address terrorist financing, but those plans could change as the investigation progresses.

Sens. Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake, members of the Foreign Relations Committee, have said Congress is prepared to move quickly and firmly if Trump fails to adequately respond to Khashoggi's disappearance. But Khashoggi's disappearance has led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh called the Future Investment Initiative. At that time Uber share was estimated to be worth $33 and the worth of the company was valued at $62 billion.

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