With Saudi deals, US, China battle for influence in Mideast
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a matter of days, Saudi Arabia carried out blockbuster agreements with the world’s two leading powers. It signed a Chinese-facilitated deal aimed at restoring diplomatic ties with the Saudi’s arch-nemesis Iran, and announced a massive contract to buy commercial planes from U.S. manufacturer Boeing. The two announcements spurred speculation that the Saudis were laying their marker as a dominant economic and geopolitical force that has the flexibility to play Beijing and Washington off each other. It also cast China in an unfamiliar leading role in Middle Eastern politics. And it has raised questions about whether the frosty U.S.-Saudi relationship has reached a détente.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
GENEVA (AP) — Swiss bank Credit Suisse says it will move to shore up its finances, borrowing up to $54 billion from the central bank after its shares plunged, dragging down other major European lenders in the wake of bank failures in the United States. Globally connected Credit Suisse’s shares lost more than a quarter of their value at one point Wednesday. The stock price hit a record low after the bank’s biggest shareholder — the Saudi National Bank — told news outlets that it would not invest more money into the Swiss lender. Credit Suisse was beset by problems long before the U.S. banks collapsed.
Japan, S. Korea to mend ties at summit amid regional threat