Canadian dollar falls after Saudi Arabia reportedly sells off assets

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What began with a statement of concern over human rights has ballooned into the biggest diplomatic feud in years between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

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. This after it suspended direct flights to Canada by its state airline and ordered the withdrawal of 12,000 Saudi students who are in Canada on state-sponsored scholarships.

Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, estimated the overall trade relationship between Canada and Saudi Arabia totals between $3 and $4 billion a year.

Jubeir added that Saudi Arabia was "considering additional measures" against Canada, without elaborating.

"We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists".

Responding to a question about the reason for the arrest of the activists, Jubeir repeated earlier allegations that they had been in touch with foreign entities.

Analysts and regional officials say that Riyadh's actions have little to do with Canada; instead, the kingdom's actions are a broader signal to western governments that any criticism of its domestic policies is unacceptable.

"We are always going to speak up for human rights, we are always going to speak up for women's rights and that is not going to change", Freeland said.

The bank had received no instructions to sell assets as they do not have any exposure there, the source said.

"7, 2018, Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) can no longer accept milling wheat or feed barley cargoes of Canadian origin to be supplied", the notice to grain traders said.

She said: "We believe that Saudi Arabia, which has taken the path of massive social and economic transformations, has a full sovereign right to determine how to move forward in this important area".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reportedly expected to be pressed on the diplomatic crisis at a press conference in Montreal.

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