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Friday, 10 November 2017

Saudi Arabia crackdown and persistence of the unforeseen

Saudi Arabia crackdown and persistence of the unforeseen:

"It is not the risks we worry about that harm us. It is what Donald Rumsfeld once called the “unknown unknowns” that we were not thinking about and did not even know about. In markets, assets deemed high risk tend to be priced so that they do little harm when things go wrong. Crises happen when that thought to be safe surprise us.

This week we celebrated the anniversary of a huge political shock — the election of Donald Trump — with possibly an even more shocking development. In Saudi Arabia, the young crown prince asserted his authority imprisoning many members of the Saudi power structure. Even if the prison in question is a five-star hotel, this is a shocking development.

First, as we know, Saudi Arabia is an enormous oil producer. It led Opec throughout the 1970s when oil price spikes forced recessions in the western world. Second, Saudi Arabia has a critical role in the politics of the Middle East. Its nationals accounted for most of the 9/11 hijackers and it is the land of Osama bin Laden’s birth. It has a tense political and religious rivalry with Iran, the other pole within the Middle East, and the latest developments seem to ratchet up the chances of an outright between the two."



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RPT-INSIGHT-A house divided: How Saudi Crown Prince purged royal family rivals

RPT-INSIGHT-A house divided: How Saudi Crown Prince purged royal family rivals:

"The first hint that something was amiss came in a letter. On Saturday Nov. 4, guests at Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton were notified by the opulent hotel that: “Due to unforeseen booking by local authorities which requires an elevated level of security, we are unable to accommodate guests ... until normal operations are restored.” The purge was already under way. Within hours security forces had rounded up dozens of members of Saudi Arabia’s political and business elite, mostly in the capital and the coastal city of Jeddah. Among them were 11 princes as well as ministers and wealthy tycoons."



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Middle East tensions loom over Dubai aerospace pageant

Middle East tensions loom over Dubai aerospace pageant:

"Rising Middle East tensions and a corruption crackdown in Saudi Arabia will cast a shadow over next week’s Dubai Airshow, as military and aerospace leaders try to gauge whether they might prolong a weapons-buying spree in the region.

Fraying business confidence since the summer, when a sudden rift emerged between Arab powers, means the recent rapid growth of major Gulf airlines will also be under scrutiny when the Middle East’s largest industry showcase opens on Sunday.

 The biennial gathering has produced a frenzy of deals in the past, especially four years ago when Dubai’s Emirates and Qatar Airways opened the show with a display of unity as they unveiled a headline-grabbing order for passenger jets.

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Shaking Down Saudi Princes Is Harder Than You Think - Bloomberg Gadfly

Shaking Down Saudi Princes Is Harder Than You Think - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"Saudi Arabia's unprecedented corruption crackdown -- worth anywhere from $100 billion to $800 billion, depending on who you ask -- makes wringing money from rich princes look as lucrative as extracting oil from the desert.

Similar figures are bandied about for the initial public offering of the state-owned oil company. Aramco's listing is expected to raise $100 billion to fund big economic changes in Saudi Arabia without toppling the established order. Why sell more national jewels when you can just soak the rich?"



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Correction: Fitch Revises Bahrain's Outlook to Negative; Affirms IDR 'BB+'

Correction: Fitch Revises Bahrain's Outlook to Negative; Affirms IDR 'BB+':

"Fitch Ratings has revised Bahrain's Outlook to Negative from Stable and affirmed the sovereign's Long Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at 'BB+'. The issue ratings on Bahrain's senior unsecured foreign and local currency long-term bonds have been affirmed at 'BB+'. The ratings on the sukuk trust certificates issued by CBB International Sukuk Company 5 have also been affirmed at 'BB+'. The Country Ceiling has been affirmed at 'BBB+' and the Short-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency IDRs at 'B'. The issue ratings on Bahrain's senior unsecured local-currency short-term bonds have been affirmed at 'B'."



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