January 7, 2015 | Quoted by Yadullah Hussain - Financial Post

W King Abdullah in hospital, ‘nervous’ Saudis fret over leadership transition amid oil price turmoil

King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was admitted to hospital on New Year’s Eve suffering from pneumonia, while Saudi Arabia wages a battle for oil market share, flexes its financial, military and diplomatic muscle on regional fronts, and struggles to appease a young population increasingly demanding more of its hereditary monarchy.

“The Saudis are nervous about a possible leadership transition given what’s going on in oil markets,” says David Weinberg, senior fellow at Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Prince Muqrin’s appointment itself was not without its difficulties, with only three-quarters of the senior princes approving his nomination, signalling that some influential Saudis are questioning the succession line.

“It is only natural that international markets would be nervous towards instability in Saudi Arabia, and speculating about to change in Saudi oil policy at a time when Saudis themselves are deeply uncertain about the path of the country’s leadership,” said Mr. Weinberg.

And even as international markets fret over the current uncertainty, there are  bigger question marks over the next generation of leaders from Riyadh.

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