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Wall Street bankers make triumphant return to Saudi Arabia just in time for mass beheadings

Global finance leaders, who boycotted the Saudi investment summit last year over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, have returned to Riyadh despite the beheadings of dozens of people this week.

Big investors, particularly from Wall Street, joined panels at the two-day financial forum which began on Wednesday in Riyadh.

Larry Fink, CEO of US investment corporation BlackRock, told the conference that his company had bought some of Saudi state-owned oil giant Aramco’s bonds and was looking for other “opportunities” in the kingdom.

Global finance leaders, who boycotted the Saudi investment summit last year over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, have returned to Riyadh despite the beheadings of dozens of people this week.

Big investors, particularly from Wall Street, joined panels at the two-day financial forum which began on Wednesday in Riyadh.

Larry Fink, CEO of US investment corporation BlackRock, told the conference that his company had bought some of Saudi state-owned oil giant Aramco’s bonds and was looking for other “opportunities” in the kingdom.

The presence of global leaders is in sharp contrast to a similar event last year. Many political and business elite decided to skip that forum due to the international scandal over the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. After initial denials, Riyadh admitted that Khashoggi was murdered by “rogue” agents of the Saudi government while visiting the country’s consulate in Istanbul last October.

READ MORE: Goldman Sachs boss shows up in Saudi Arabia as uproar over Khashoggi killing fades

Despite that, big investors appear to be focused on potential deals in the largest Arab economy.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told the forum that Aramco would be active in debt markets and that the $12 billion it raised in its debut bond issue was “only the beginning.” The country’s stock market, which has seen an upsurge in foreign fund flows since the start of 2019, is one of the best performing in the region, up nearly 18 percent year-to-date.

This article first appeared at RT.