The Crown Price of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, is currently leading an anti-corruption case on an unprecedented scale. His main targets are seemingly some of Saudi Arabia’s most wealthy and most influential. Arrests have included 11 princes, 4 ministers and dozens of influential business men and ex-ministers.
The reasoning behind the major purge seems to be contested within the media. Some see it as the Crown Price trying to cleanse Saudi Arabia’s corrupt past and move away from such a label. Whilst others solely believe that this purge is a power play by the Crown Price to assert his authority over anyone and everyone, especially those carrying the highest prestige in the Arab world’s richest country.
The reaction to Mohammed bin Salman’s sudden movements have been met with mixed reaction in the country. Young Saudis are in support of modernisation, whereas those with more conservative beliefs think this is high risk strategy and fear backlash. These sudden movements have certainly caused a backlash in the oil markets and there is a global concern over the future of this oil rich nation.
Since the Crown Prince dramatically announced the beginning of this purge, oil prices have spiked to levels we haven’t seen since 2015. Currently trading at $63.7/bbl, the uncertainty surrounding the near future of some of Saudi Arabia’s most influential figures have definitely caused a stir in the markets.
Mohammed bin Salman continues to show support for oil production cuts throughout this purge, however the uncertainty over key figures with large shares in the oil industry, far outweighs such attitudes in terms of enhancing market tensions. What is more worrying in terms of future market trends for oil is this could just be the start.
Sheikh Saud al- Mojeb described the detentions of these individuals as
Such comments seem to indicate that this could just be the start of things to come for the world’s largest oil exporter. With more arrests of key figures seemingly in the pipeline, the upward trend of the oil market looks set to continue, as the oil-rich and powerful nation adapts to a cultural and political shift.
Sources- Npower, BBC News