LONDON, February 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Head of Middle East and North Africa Forecasting, Zaineb Al-Assam, and her team at Exclusive Analysis have rated the likelihood of the following game-changing scenarios taking place in the Middle East and North Africa in our risk brief for clients Middle East / North Africa Scenario Analysis: Civil Unrest and Political Stability. There are two variables for scenarios: where a country is likely to end up, and how it gets there. These Key Judgements suggest the balance of probabilities for each. They represent 'what-if' scenarios, rather than forecasts.
Algeria: We expect violent protests to be ruthlessly suppressed, leaving a military-dominated regime in charge. The transition would involve moderate violence and disruption. In the long-term the commercial risk environment is largely unchanged. Commercial Risks: Protesters will likely fail to block main roads like the East-West highway, though road blockade risks will be greater in Kabylie. Visitors to hotels near protest areas, for example the Sofitel on Rue Hassiba Ben Bouali, will likely experience disruption, but foreign companies in Hydra district will be unaffected.
Bahrain: There is a moderate risk of an extremely violent transition, with a high likelihood of external Saudi and (more covert) Iranian intervention. There is a significant probability that the present order is completely overthrown and replaced by a new order which aligns itself with Iran and therefore negates most previous commercial risk assumptions. Commercial Risks: Protests will affect transport to and from the capital, causing disruption to shipping at the Port of Mina Salman; the stock exchange is likely to close temporarily.
Iran: Violent protest is already underway but is unlikely to become more violent i.e. armed. A new government will remain proudly Persian and support a civil nuclear programme, and the Shia clerical establishment will have a prominent role. Commercial Risks: The major shipping hub Port of Bandar Abbas is likely to be effectively shut down by protests; operations at the Port of Nowshahr near Tehran are also likely to be disrupted.
Jordan: There is a high risk of a very violent transition phase, as well-armed and disunited tribes and Palestinians contest control over the distribution of limited state resources. However, Jordan is likely to end up essentially where it started, with the Palestinians largely excluded and some version of the monarchy in power. Commercial Risks: Major highways are likely to be blocked by protesters; access to ports and airports is likely to be restricted, disrupting shipping and travel. Strikes due to the heavy influence of the Palestinian workforce are likely. A change in regime will raise expropriation risks for businesses connected to the ruling family and its allies.
Libya: Whilst repression of protesters will be harsh, transition is likely to be lengthy. There is no obvious opposition leader and the military is not an independent power base in its own right, as it is in Egypt. However, the outcome for businesses would simply be new persons with whom to do business, as Libya's appetite for foreign direct investment will likely persist. Commercial Risks: Major roads in Tripoli and Benghazi are likely to be blocked by protesters, effectively closing down ports and airports for several days.
Saudi Arabia: The major issue is succession, which regional events likely accelerate, quite plausibly to a mid-level Islamist military officer, though there is also a risk of national fragmentation. Transition scenarios are likely to be physically less violent and disruptive, though the end game may well be radically different and totally exclude the Al Saud. Commercial Risks: Eastern ports with significant oil infrastructure, including King Abdul Aziz Port, Ras Tanura Port, Ju'aymah Crude and LPG Terminal, and Jubail Commercial Port, are likely to receive increased security, but will likely experience disruption and delays in the event of escalating protests restricting access to the ports.
Yemen: The defection of key tribal leaders will significantly reduce the chances of President Saleh's survival. Commercial Risks: In all scenarios operations in Aden are most likely to be disrupted as the government tries to put down protests in the south. There is a small risk that if the south attempts to secede, the Army will bombard facilities in the south such as Aden port or the Balhaf terminal as a last ditch attempt to prevent secession.
About Exclusive Analysis:
Exclusive Analysis (EA) is a specialist intelligence company that forecasts commercially relevant political and violent risk worldwide. With offices in London, Beirut and Singapore, we leverage a global source and analyst network to deliver accurate, decision-ready forecasts to a broad range of sectors. Our services are used to benchmark war, terrorism, civil unrest and political risk in every country in the world and to support strategic investment and security decisions.
SOURCE Exclusive Analysis