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Saudi Arabia-Canada spat hits 16,000 students as the Kingdom suspends scholarships

Saudi Arabia-Canada spat hits 16,000 students as the Kingdom suspends scholarships

Saudi holdings in Canada are relatively small, but not insignificant.

The United Kingdom was similarly muted in its response, with a foreign office spokeswoman saying: "Canada and Saudi Arabia are both close partners of the UK, and we urge restraint during the current situation", a foreign office spokeswoman said.

The Saudi central bank and state pension funds have sent instructions to overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian equities, bond, and cash holdings at any cost, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

The Saudi sell-off of Canadian assets began on Tuesday, the Financial Times reported - the same day that market watchers reported a sell-off of Canadian assets from an unknown global dealer.

The national Saudi Arabian airline, Saudia, said this week that it would suspend all flights between the country and Canada, starting next week. "So that's impacting the Canadian market versus the rest of the world". "At this stage, this is a question for the government of Saudi Arabia".

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Canada's main stock index closed lower Tuesday, with the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closing down 133.94 points at 16,286.30 in a broad-based decline. " It subsequently froze all new trade agreements with Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh 24 hours to leave".

The move to block Canadian grain is the Kingdom's attempt to punish Canada economically after Global Affairs Canada publicly criticized the Kingdom for jailing dissidents, enraging the regime.

The Canadian currency dropped as much as 0.5 per cent to $1.3120 per US dollar after the Financial Times reported that the Saudi Arabia central bank and state pension funds have instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian assets "no matter the cost" starting Tuesday. That will remove an estimated $2 billion in investment from Canada.

"We have always said that the politicisation of human rights matters is unacceptable", Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for Russia's foreign ministry, told reporters on Wednesday.