he kingdom has put an ambitious economic transformation plan in place to deal with lower oil prices.
Any failure to deliver will risk a fiscal crisis, a currency devaluation, and/or rising unemployment and
• Political risk (HIGH): The elevation of Prince Mohammed as Crown Prince has removed any uncertainty
over succession. But the embargo of Qatar has raised tensions and looks far from resolution.
• Economic risk (MEDIUM): The recovery in the oil price following the latest Opec decision will only
partially offset the impact on growth from lower output; the fall in reserves has raised concerns.
• Financial risk (LOW): The banking system is stable, well-regulated and well-capitalised but that
would be at risk in the case of a sharp economic downturn. Its stock market may be upgraded to EM
status by MSCI in 2019.
• Commercial risk (MEDIUM): The country sits in the middle of the World Bank’s Doing Business index
and takes a harsh line on corruption and bribery. It secured $350bn of deals with the US as part of
Donald Trump’s visit.