SoftBank 'anxiously' monitoring Saudi Arabia situation: executive

Saudi media: Any US sanctions over Khashoggi would ‘stab its own economy to death’

Earlier on Sunday, the Saudi stock market plunged almost seven percent amid fears of imminent sanctions by the USA after President Donald Trump threatened a severe punishment if the kingdom was found responsible for the journalist's disappearance.

Claure spoke at a technology conference in San Jose, California for British chip design firm Arm Holdings, which was acquired by SoftBank Group in 2016 for US$32 billion.

SoftBank's influence under Chief Executive Masayoshi Son was built through its tech investments around the world, with the company previous year raising more than $93 billion to create its Vision Fund - with $45 billion coming from Saudi Arabia. Tech shares have retreated in the face of the US-China trade war, potentially jeopardising the value of SoftBank's portfolio companies.

Still, regional traders said speculation the Khashoggi case might deter some inflows of foreign investment - and that a backlash in the US Congress could lead to US sanctions against some Saudi individuals - had triggered panic selling of stocks by some local investors.

"We are not liking how SoftBank has been trading and have chose to remove it from our recommended longs", senior strategist Amir Anvarzadeh of Asymmetric Advisers in Singapore wrote in a research note yesterday.

Under Son, SoftBank built its global influence through tech investments and raised over $93 billion past year to create its Vision Fund - with $45 billion coming from Saudi Arabia.

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Mr Masayoshi Son has much at stake in his relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"We are starting to worry about other more likely scenarios that could prove as disruptive to Son's plans", he wrote.

A Saudi dissident in Quebec believes the kingdom hacked his phone and listened to calls he had with Jamal Khashoggi prior to the journalist's disappearance.

Prince Khaled al-Faisal, a senior member of Saudi Arabia's ruling family and senior adviser to King Salman, has met with Erdogan to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters without providing details.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO at Uber Technologies Inc in which SoftBank is the largest shareholder - said last week he would no longer attend. Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has also pulled out of the event as a media partner, said a spokesman.

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi monarchy, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey's capital Istanbul on October 2 and may have been killed there, according to Turkish officials.

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