Fallout continues in the diplomatic dust-up between Canada, Saudi Arabia

08 August, 2018, 22:55 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Toronto's CN Tower and the skyline

Saudi Arabia's central bank has instructed its fund managers to sell off their Canadian holdings, three people familiar with the matter said, the latest move in a widening diplomatic row that has also hit trade between the two countries as well as Saudi students studying overseas.

Arab countries, including Bahrain, Palestine and the UAE, have lined up in support of Saudi Arabia after it took trade and diplomatic measures against Canada on Monday in response to the latter's interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom. The kingdom has since escalated its moves against Canada, suspending flights to Toronto and ordering the return of thousands of students who are studying at Canadian schools.

A fresh escalation of the row emerged on Tuesday.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Saudi Arabia has started selling Canadian assets en masse, including stocks and bonds.

The Canadian government has not responded in kind.

"I will say Canada is very comfortable with our position", she told reporters.

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Saudi scholarship recipients to Canadian universities were ordered to other countries. Samar Badawi and Sadah were arrested last week in what global human rights groups called a crackdown on dissent in Saudi Arabia.

"Saudi Arabia simply can not afford to alienate any other sections of the global community in the midst of its unpopular military engagement in Yemen, its indirect confrontation with Iran", commentator Jamal Khashoggi wrote in the Washington Post.

Barrick co-owns the Jabal Sayid copper mine in Saudi Arabia alongside the predominantly state-owned Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden).

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's main state wheat-buying agency, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), issued a notice to exporters that it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to hold a news conference in Montreal.

The Canadian dollar was down by 0.2% against the USA dollar to 1.3096 at 8:59 a.m. ET.

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