"For investors who don't know Saudi Arabia so well, this news will be a rude awakening to the fact that Saudi politics are actually quite unstable," said Marcus Chenevix, a Middle East analyst at the London-based economics consultancy TS Lombard. "But for investors who know the kingdom well, they'll see this as a positive sign for long-term reform." Those arrested, according to TS Lombard's Chenevix, primarily hail from the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea, a rival commercial and power center to the central capital of Riyadh. Prince Mohammed announced last month that the country planned to spend $500 billion -- roughly equivalent to Sweden's gross national product -- to erect a brand-new mega-city on the Red Sea.
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