Saudi shares extend rally on new crown prince, MSCI; Qatar rebounds

Saudi Arabia's King Salman elevated his 31-year-old son Wednesday to become crown prince, ousting his nephew in a seismic shift in the royal succession line that could have deep ramifications for the oil-rich monarchy and the broader Middle East.

Earlier this week, the Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz in a royal decree relieved Prince Muhammed Bin Nayef from his position, and declared Prince Muhammed Bin Salman as the Kingdom's Crown Prince.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have drawn up a list of demands to be presented to Qatar, the United States said Wednesday, as President Donald Trump discussed the regional crisis with new Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Meanwhile, the June 21 reshuffle sparked speculation on Twitter about a possible future abdication by the octogenarian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in favour of his son, whose youth and dynamism have appealed to younger Saudis who make up the majority in society and are often eager for change.

With creating the hashtag "Mohammad bin Salman Coup", Mujtahid also said the king's recent decision to remove bin Nayef has sparked harsh outrage among the Saudi family members.

However, despite spending billions of petrodollars, the Saudi regime has achieved none of its goals during its brutal campaign that has killed over 12,000 civilians, left much of Yemen in ruins and empowered the Takfiri terror groups operating there. His radical proposals, outlined in a program labeled Vision 2030, aim to diversify the economy, with a bigger role for women and a partial privatizing of the Saudi state oil company. The Trump administration has been seemingly split on the issue of Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.

The newly-minted crown prince has also used fighting words to describe Iran, vowing to take "the battle" to the Shiite-ruled country.

It also laid the groundwork for Trump's maiden voyage overseas as president last month, when Trump became the first USA president to make his first official trip to a Muslim nation with a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Western diplomats already referred to Prince Mohammed as "Mr Everything" because of his control over most aspects of domestic, foreign and defence affairs. He has pledged allegiance to the new crown prince, news agency SPA reported.

Iran, which is predominantly Shi'ite Muslim, and Saudi Arabia, which is mostly Sunni, compete for power and influence across the region.

His father is the governor of Saudi Arabia's vast Eastern Province, home to much of the country's oil wealth and most of its minority Shiites. He has also introduced live entertainment such as concerts and comedy shows into conservative Saudi Arabia. The royal decree did not nominate a new deputy crown prince.

  • Leroy Wright