BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink struck a supportive tone on crisis-torn Saudi Arabia on Thursday, saying he expects to continue to invest in the country and that it's unclear who killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"We don't know who is responsible for the murder," Mr. Fink said at the New York Times DealBook conference. "Everybody has their own theories." He didn't elaborate. Brian Beades, a BlackRock spokesman, declined further comment.
The fallout from Mr. Khashoggi's killing sparked an international crisis as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to move the country away from oil dependency and garner more investment from abroad. The prince has denied any involvement, calling it a "heinous crime that cannot be justified."
Turkish prosecutors have said the Washington Post columnist was strangled soon after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month and his body was dismembered in a premeditated hit.
Mr. Fink, who runs the world's largest asset manager, said at the conference that doing business in Saudi Arabia is "not something I'm ashamed of." He added, "We have not lost any business there," noting BlackRock has worked in the kingdom for 15 years.
Mr. Fink was among many U.S. executives who pulled out of a Saudi investment conference last month after the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi.
On Thursday in New York, Mr. Fink spoke on a range of issues including his firm's effort to hold companies accountable for their social and environmental impact. He said he thinks the U.S. and China are heading for a "full-fledged" trade war. Mr. Fink added that disrupting relations with China could be perilous, as the country is the largest foreign creditor to the U.S.