Canadian dollar falls after Saudi Arabia reportedly sells off assets


The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada's envoy from returning and placed a ban on new trade, denouncing Canada for statements about people detained on criminal charges. Saudi Arabia responded by reducing the level of diplomatic relations and stopping cooperation with Ottawa in several fields, most notably trade, education and medicine.

Without commenting directly on the economic impact of the dispute and whether the federal government is planning to assist anyone impacted by Saudi Arabia's measures, Trudeau said "obviously Canada will always stand up for our workers and our companies, we need to make sure that we're protecting Canadian interests in any situation". "A mistake has been made and a mistake should be corrected", he told a news conference in Riyadh. On Tuesday, Minister of Education Dr. Ahmed Al-Eissa assured Saudi scholarship students in Canada that the Kingdom has worked to provide all facilities for an easy transfer to universities in other countries.

Saudi Arabia's national airline suspended flights to and from Toronto on Tuesday.

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.

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The move was in response to tweets from Global Affairs Canada and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland criticizing Saudi Arabia's arrest of women's rights activists, including Samar Badawi, a Canadian citizen whose brother - blogger Raif Badawi - was already imprisoned in the kingdom.

Since rising to power in 2015, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has courted Western allies to support his reform plans, offering billions of dollars of arms sales and promising to fight radicalism in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia, ruled by its interpretation of Islamic law, rarely carries out crucifixions, but capital punishment remains common.

"We've been pretty clear in our dealings around the world and specifically in Saudi Arabia that we know that it's important that we bring Canadian values around the world".