Falih appointment as oil minister confirms younger generation takeover in Riyadh

Issue 1015 - 20 May 2016
The reshaping of economic policy and changing of the guard in senior government ranks continues to gather momentum in Riyadh, with new ministers in charge of oil, electricity, commerce and transport, as well as a new central bank governor. The changes consolidate the rise of younger generation officials, many of them in the orbit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). In a reshuffle that clearly carried MBS’s fingerprints, coming only days after his Vision 2030 document was released, Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) chairman and health minister Khalid Al-Falih was appointed to replace octogenarian petroleum and mineral resources minister Ali Al-Naimi on 7 May. At the same time, the Ministry of Water and Electricity was discontinued – its minister Abdullah Bin Abdulrahman Al-Hussein having been sacked in April. The ministry’s power sector activities were folded into Falih’s enlarged portfolio, the new Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.

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