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GSN has made no change to Saudi Arabia’s B2 grade with downward momentum for both political and financial/economic risks in its latest Risk Management Report. Long referred to as the kingdom’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) is more fully in charge, while his father, King Salman Bin Abdelaziz, the ruling family’s long-standing disciplinarian who until recently had remained a real force, now seems cloistered in Neom. Identification with the crown prince is the key for ambitious Saudis. He has put more focus on projecting Saudi soft power abroad and wooing key stakeholders at home. The outcome of reforms, which are often designed by international consultants, is impossible to gauge, but their success or failure will define the MBS years.
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