Branson halts talks on US$1 billion Saudi investment in space ventures

Richard Branson at LAX Airport in Los Angeles. (AFP pic)

LONDON: British billionaire Richard Branson said on Thursday that his Virgin Group would suspend its discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund over a planned US$1 billion (RM4.16 billion) investment in the group’s space ventures, in light of events involving missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government,” Branson said in a statement.

Branson also said he would suspend his directorship in two Saudi tourism projects around the Red Sea, citing the disappearance of Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist.