Bloomberg withdraw support for major Saudi investment conference

Bloomberg withdraw support for major Saudi investment conference
Bloomberg became the last major media partner to pull out of a Saudi investment conference due to take place in Riyadh.
2 min read
12 October, 2018
Mohammed bin Salman met Bloomberg's founder earlier this year [Anadolu]
Bloomberg became the latest media giant to withdraw its involvement in a major investment conference planned to take place in Saudi Arabia later this month.

The broadcaster was the last in a long-line of media sponsors to pull their support for the Future Investment Initiative (FII), which will take place in Riyadh between 23 and 25 October in Riyadh.

The conference is an attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to encourge foreign companies to invest in the kingdom, as it seeks to diversify its economy away from oil and gas.

It was also an attempt to help promote the image of the crown prince as a reformer, but the case of Khashoggi has overshadowed the conference with big media names such as the Financial Times, CNN, and CNBC pulling-out.

Other businesses have also boycotted FII.

Bloomberg has close relations with Saudi Arabia, but pressure from other parties appear to have forced the media giant to withdraw their support for FII.

Bloomberg signed a multi-million dollar deal with Saudi Research and Marketing to launch the Arabic-language Bloomberg Al Arabiya business service.

Mohammed bin Salman also met the founder of the broadcaster and former New York mayor Michael A. Bloomberg during a visit to the US this year.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the 2 October and has not been seen since.

Turkish intelligence sources have leaked information that Khashoggi was murdered at the request of the Saudi leadership.

Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia two years ago, following a crackdown on suspected critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A team of 15 Saudis entered and left Turkey the day Khashoggi went missing, including a forensics expert.

They are believed to have drugged and killed Khashoggi and dismembered his body with a "bone saw" brought over from Saudi Arabia for that purpose.