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International investors appear unmoved by Saudi scandal

Investors having a meeting

According to leading global asset manager Eaton Vance, investment behaviour has not mirrored the international outcry over the assumed murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul’s Saudi consulate.

Events that attract significant media and political attention can often trigger a reaction or volatility in investment markets.

However, in a statement released this week, Eaton Vance’s global income investment team suggests this hasn't been the case with the Khashoggi scandal.

“Investor ambivalence is reflected in the spreads on Saudi debt, which have widened only modestly since the furore broke," the fund manager said.

However, Eaton Vance has identified that much of the current buying interest seems to be from within the region and may, in fact, be the Saudis attempting to stabilise their own bond pricing.

It is suggested that international dependency on Saudi’s oil exports could be the cause of the community’s apparent disengagement.

“The foundation for Saudi Arabia's debt financing remains as it always has been: the world needs its oil and the Saudis need to export it,” says Eaton Vance.

“It is crucial for both Saudi Arabia and many other countries around the world to find a way to move past this. The long-standing mutual dependency is currently under unprecedented strain.”

Eaton Vance has asserted that continued investor indifference could damage any Saudi efforts to shift away from being an oil economy.

International investors appear unmoved by Saudi scandal
Investors having a meeting
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