Jamie Dimon: JP Morgan boss pulls out of Saudi conference

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Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., speaks at the Economic Club of Washington September 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. Image copyright Getty Images

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has cancelled plans to attend an investment conference in Riyadh amid growing tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia.

He is the latest high-profile figure to pull out of a conference dubbed “Davos in the Desert” after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Oil futures rose on Monday on concerns about supply, while stocks in Saudi Arabia fell sharply on Sunday.

The Saudis deny killing Mr Khashoggi.

The government critic vanished on 2 October after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Authorities there believe he was killed in the building by Saudi agents, which Riyadh has dismissed as “lies”.

The UK, Germany and France have demanded a credible investigation into the disappearance.

“We can confirm… that Jamie will not be attending the Saudi event,” a JP Morgan spokesperson said in an email to the BBC on Monday. “We won’t be commenting further.”

Other executives such as Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford and Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi also won’t attend the conference, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Khashoggi was once an adviser to the Saudi royal family, but fell sharply out of favour with the Saudi government and went into self-imposed exile.

US President Donald Trump has said the US will inflict “severe punishment” on Saudi Arabia if it is found responsible for his death.

But on Sunday Saudi Arabia said it rejected political and economic “threats” over the missing journalist and would respond to any punitive action “with a bigger one”.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s top oil exporters.

The Future Investment Initiative will be held in Riyadh between 23 and 25 October.

Britain and the US are also considering boycotting the conference, the BBC has learned.

Others distancing themselves include Sir Richard Branson, who has halted talks over a $1bn Saudi investment in Virgin space firms.

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