Image via WikipediaYemen, Sudan, Jordan and Syria all look vulnerable. However, the greatest risk in terms of both probability and severity is in Saudi Arabia," said a report by risk consultants Exclusive Analysis.
Saudi King Abdullah is alarmed by fast-moving events in Egypt and the Arab world. In a statement published by the Saudi press agency he said agitators had "infiltrated Egypt to destabilise its security and incite malicious sedition".
The accusations seem aimed at Iran's Shia regime, which has openly endorsed the "rightful demands" of the protest movement. There is deep concern in Sunni Arab countries that Iran is attempting to create a "Shia Crescent" through Iraq, Bahrain and into the Gulf areas of Saudi Arabia, hoping to become the hegemonic force in global oil supply.
Goldman Sachs said the Mid-East holds 61pc of the world's proven oil reserves – and 36pc of current supply – which may compel global leaders to make "concentrated efforts" to stabilise the region. The bank said high levels of affluence should shield Saudi Arabia and the Gulf's oil-rich states from "political contagion".
However, a third of Saudi Arabia's 25m residents are ill-assimilated foreigners and the country faces a "youth bulge", with unemployment at 42pc among those aged 20 to 24.