A sweeping roundup last weekend of more than five dozen princes, ministers and prominent businessmen in Saudi Arabia marks a dramatic escalation of crown prince Mohamed bin Salman’s effort to consolidate power and accelerate far-reaching change in the kingdom, Margherita Stancati and Summer Said report. Saudi officials said the crackdown stemmed from a probe aimed at stamping out corruption. It touched some of the most widely known people in the country, including Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, an international tycoon who is one of the richest men in the world. While many commentators focused on the internal machinations of the Saudi royal family, Hasnain Malik, global head of equity research at the specialist frontier and emerging markets investment bank Exotix Capital, took a different view: “As unprecedented and controversial as it may be, this centralization might also be a necessary condition for pushing the austerity and transformation agenda, the benefits of which very few inves...

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