Why does Saudi Arabia invest in Southeast Asia?

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Saudi King Salman and Malaysia’s Najib Razak

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced that Saudi Arabia is investing $7bn (£5.6bn) in an oil refinery in the country, a project that will be set up by Malaysian oil company Petronas.

The investment is the first deal to be signed during Saudi monarch King Salman’s Asian tour, and is expected to help boost profits at Petronas, which has been struggling with low oil prices for the past few years.

The visit is the first by a Saudi king to Malaysia in more than a decade, but the ties between the two nations run deep.

The Saudi connection came up in Malaysian politics as recently as last year, when Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the $681m found in his personal bank account was a gift from the royal…

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