Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Saudi Arabia Appears To Be Trying To Tank Canadian Asset Prices

Saudi Arabia Appears To Be Trying To Tank Canadian Asset Prices

The Saudi central bank and state pension funds have sent instructions to overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian equities, bond, and cash holdings at any cost, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

The Saudi government was also putting together an "urgent plan" to transfer students and interns already in Canada to US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, it said.

"The matter is not about human rights, it is a matter of national security", Jubeir said, referring to the row with Canada.

Saudi Arabia has refused to back down from its escalating diplomatic dispute with Canada, saying that Ottawa knows what it needs to do to "fix its big mistake". "Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together".

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. Nevertheless, when Freeland was asked about Saudi Arabia's reaction to her comments, she said Canada stands by its stance "with great assuredness."

The Saudi Foreign Ministry called Canada's criticism of the arrest "blatant interference in the kingdom's domestic affairs, against basic worldwide norms and all global protocols", and an "unacceptable affront" to its "laws and judicial process".

The Persian Gulf country is, however, a major supplier of oil to Canada, with about nine per cent of Canada's oil imports coming from Saudi Arabia.

But if this was an attempt by Saudi Arabia to push down Canadian markets, the move had limited success.

Responding to a question about the reason for the activists' arrests, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said that charges against them would be made public once their cases reach the courts, repeating earlier allegations that they had been in touch with foreign entities. "We are always going to speak up for human rights, we're always going to speak up for women's rights, and that is not going to change".

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