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1 Article
Source: BBC

Branson halts Saudi investment talks

Sunday 19:59 GMT

Sir Richard Branson has halted talks over $1bn Saudi investment in Virgin space firms after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Virgin was in talks with Saudi sovereign wealth fund the Public Investment Fund about a proposed $1bn investment in space companies Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit. Talks have been going on since October 2017, when the Saudi intention to invest was agreed by Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and Sir Richard.

1 Article
Source: CBS News

Business leaders cancel Saudi events, ask Mohammed bin Salmon for info on Jamal Koshoggi

Saturday 13:36 GMT

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has joined such prominent Western business leaders as technology investor Steve Case and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in backing away from projects with Saudi Arabia after the disappearance and alleged killing of journalist Jamal Kashoggi.

The alleged slaying threatens to derail efforts by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to redefine Saudi Arabia to foreign investors as a more open and tolerant place to visit and do business.

1 Article
Source: Washington Post

Western walkout of Saudi ‘Davos in the Desert’ conference over Jamal Khashoggi undermines kingdom’s modernization plans

Saturday 18:10 GMT

The growing number of Western companies distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia over the alleged killing of dissident Jamal Khashoggi is throwing a wrench in the kingdom’s push to modernize its economy and lessen its dependence on oil.

Branson said that reports that Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, if true, “would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi Government.”. [Mnuchin still plans to attend Saudi investment conference as others pull out in response to missing journalist]. Well-known figures in the U.S. tech world also backed away from a Saudi project called NEOM aimed at building a tech and tourism hub in the northwestern corner of the country. Sam Altman, president of startup investment firm Y Combinator, said he was suspending involvement with NEOM’s advisory board “until the facts regarding Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance are known.”

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte