Selling The Crown Jewels; The New Game In Russia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – June 22, 2016)

Crown jewels are generally regarded as priceless assets and are rarely for sale. But in tough times they can be all that a royal family has to sell, which is what seems to be happening today in at least three commodity-rich countries.

Three months ago the only hint of royalty offloading a few gems to maintain a regal lifestyle and carry out repairs to a palace (or two) was a suggestion that the House of Saud, the family which rules oil-rich Saudi Arabia, might be prepared to sell a slice of the country’s oil business.

Last week in Brazil, another country once ruled by a king, the country’s biggest mining company, Vale, hinted at the sale of an interest in its world-class iron ore business.

This week Russia, a third country with an interesting royal history, joined the rush to raise cash by reportedly seeking potential buyers for a stake in its government-owned oil business, Rosneft .

Three Deals Is A Trend

One proposed sale of crown jewels is interesting. Two is highly unusual. Three is definitely a trend and a pointer to the problems which are crushing the economies of countries which have become too dependent on commodities.

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