Canadian dollar whipsaws as row with Saudi Arabia escalates

Canadian dollar whipsaws as row with Saudi Arabia escalates

This comes as Saudi Arabia sells Canadian assets as the kingdom increases its response to Ottawa's criticism of the arrest of a female activist.

Canada sparked fury in Riyadh last week when it called for the "immediate release" of rights campaigners, including award-winning women's rights activist Samar Badawi, the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi.

Saudi Arabia announced it was suspending future trade with Canada and severing diplomatic ties.

Almost 100 global students in Waterloo Region could be affected as tensions heat up between Saudi Arabia and Canada.

The first official Russian comment on the Saudi-Canadian dispute came from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which confirmed Moscow's refusal to politicize human rights issues, noting that Saudi Arabia has the right to determine the course of its own internal reforms. It stopped medical treatment of Saudis in Canada and made arrangements to bring home Saudi patients.

The Financial Times recently reported that the Saudi central bank and state pension funds had instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of their Canadian equities, bonds and cash holdings "no matter the cost". " It subsequently froze all new trade agreements with Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh 24 hours to leave".

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The University of Waterloo says they have 84 students from Saudi Arabia enrolled and the majority of them are working on graduate programs.

Saudi media took a decidedly dark turn on Monday when it appeared to threaten Canada with a 9/11-style attack by tweeting a harshly worded infographic with an image of an airliner flying towards Toronto's skyline.

Days after it broke off diplomatic relations with Canada, the Saudi government is now selling off the kingdom's Canadian holdings, according to a news report, and it's doing it in a way that's likely created to push down the market value of Canadian assets.

Canada plans to seek help from the UAE and Britain to defuse an escalating dispute with Saudi Arabia, sources said on Tuesday, but close ally U.S. made clear it would not get involved. Saudi Arabia's airline suspended flights to and from Canada, potentially complicating travel plans for Canada's Muslim population as the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca approaches later in August.

It remains unclear how many Saudi patients will be affected by the decision.

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