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Cleaner Saudi House, Cleaner Aramco Sale?

Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohamed bin Salman, heir apparent to the aging Saudi king, is cleaning house -- but oil is holding up.

The prince arrested more than five dozen princes, ministers and business leaders over the weekend as he seeks to consolidate power and accomplish sweeping financial and economic reforms to move the Saudi economy away from dependence on oil revenue. The move "alienated important elements in the royal family and clerical establishment" but likely means no immediate changes in oil policy, writes Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets. Saudi Arabia is expected to offer shares in the government-controlled Saudi Arabian Oil Company in 2018, but governance will be at center stage as it considers international stock exchanges for its listing. The prince is strongly committed to "moving ahead with the Aramco sale" and anchoring the OPEC agreement to cut production and support oil prices deep into 2018, Croft writes.