Saudi Arabia’s investment dream unravelling

Saudi Arabia’s investment dream unravelling, by Rory Jones.

Saudi Arabia’s dream of becoming an investment hub in the desert is unravelling.

Accusations that the Saudi government ordered the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul earlier this month are the latest setback for an ambitious effort by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to remake the oil-dependent kingdom’s economy.

Saudi Arabian stocks tumbled yesterday as investors’ confidence was shaken in the 33-year-old prince’s ability to deliver on pledges to attract foreign investment amid signs Mr Khashoggi’s case could spook businesses and risked serious damage to Saudi relations with the US and other countries. …

A host of Western executives and advisers to Saudi Arabia have pulled out of Riyadh’s premier business conference set for later this month, including JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, whose company is partly owned by Saudi Arabia. …

Some Western executives are waiting before disrupting their ties with Saudi Arabia. Some are waiting for a signal from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who so far remains committed to attending the conference in Riyadh and maintaining Saudi ties, US officials said. …

In April 2016, Prince Mohammed announced a plan to revamp his kingdom’s society and economy dubbed Vision 2030. The ruler allowed women to drive for the first time, opened the first new cinema in over 30 years, began construction on a futuristic new city called Neom and promised a more moderate form of Islam.

Character is destiny, they say. By their fruits you will know them.

hat-tip Stephen Neil