SoftBank Group shares slide 5 percent as Saudi ties cause concern

Saudi journalist disappearance Riyadh rejects ‘threats’ warns of retaliation in case of sanctions

Saudi journalist disappearance Riyadh rejects ‘threats’ warns of retaliation in case of sanctions

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

Saudi officials say Mr Khashoggi left the building unharmed.

The statement did not directly acknowledge Khashoggi's disappearance, which happened October 2 when he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

US President Donald Trump has threatened Saudi Arabia "severe punishment" if Khashoggi was in fact killed, and Riyadh has vowed to hit back against any punitive measures.

"These will not undermine the Kingdom and its staunch positions and its stature at the Arab, Islamic and worldwide level", the official source said.

In perhaps a veiled threat, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said if the country "receives any action, it will respond with greater action", highlighting the vital role it plays in the global economy.

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 king thanked Mr Erdogan for welcoming a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to discuss Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and said no one could undermine their relationship.

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More news: Britain, France, Germany call for 'credible investigation' into Saudi disappearance

"Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP [Federica] Mogherini and UNSG [Antonio] Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness".

They said there must be a credible investigation to establish the truth and "if relevant" identify those responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

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

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

Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil exporter, and Kudlow was asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether a Saudi response could affect energy prices.

"It would lead to Saudi Arabia's failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels [per day]".

Already, worldwide business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom's upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as "Davos in the Desert", and the sell-off on Riyadh's Tadawul stock exchange showed that investors are uneasy.

Anti-Saudi sentiment in the US Congress could conceivably raise pressure to pass the so-called No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, which would end sovereign immunity shielding Opec members from US legal action.

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