Saudi Arabia has a new heir to the throne.
King Salman on Wednesday published a decree promoting his son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to crown prince in place of Prince Mohammed bin Nayaf.
It’s the second unexpected shakeup in the leadership of the world’s top oil exporter and the Middle East’s biggest economy since 2015, and comes as the Royal family tries to bring about a radical transformation of the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia sits on 22% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves. It’s the biggest member of the OPEC group of oil exporters, and has played a leading role in attempts to restrain supply to boost prices.
Analysts say the reshuffle could boost the economic reform effort, but oil policy is unlikely to change.
‘Business as usual’ for oil
“It’ll be business as usual and continuing its role in OPEC,” said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh.
Saudi efforts to stabilize oil prices have had limited success. Prices have recovered from a low of $26 a barrel hit in early 2016, but have been sliding again this year in the face of rising production in the U.S.
Mohammed bin Salman, 31, has described the country’s dependence on oil as an “addiction,” and he’s been spearheading Vision 2030, a detailed plan to diversify the economy and grow the role of the private sector.
source: CNN money
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