And there may be some in Saudi Arabia who have their own doubts, too.
The prince, known as MBS, already oversees a vast portfolio as defense minister.
The Saudi Tadawul index, the largest in the Middle East, surged 4.12 percent in early afternoon trading after Salman ousted his nephew as crown prince and installed his son Mohammed bin Salman.
The Prime Minister expressed great confidence that under the most dynamic and visionary leadership of the Crown Prince, the Kingdom would attain even greater glory and the brotherly people of Saudi Arabia would prosper even more.
The move sparked critical coverage in Iran, where state television ran a headline calling the move a “soft coup”.
A senior advisor to Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Sheikholeslam, was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as linking bin Salman’s elevation to a “deal” made with President Trump.
The Watch List designation brings “anticipated MSCI Index inclusion now one step closer”, Khalid al-Hussan, CEO of the Saudi bourse, said in the statement. Chief among them will be ensuring that the economic reform plans, including a public offering of the state oil company and private sector growth, will be introduced as smoothly as possible at a time of low energy prices.
Both young princes hail from the powerful Sudairi branch of the royal family. Analysts and diplomats say he was the prime mover in the kingdom’s decision to go to war in Yemen, and more recently, to lead the campaign against Qatar. The prince is shown kissing his older cousin’s hand and kneeling before him.
The crown prince said last month on Saudi TV that he was not open to trying to improve relations with Tehran, which he accused of trying “to control the Islamic world” to spread its Shi’ite doctrine. His youth is a novelty for a country that is used to ageing leaders – Prince Mohammed’s father is 81.
The newly minted crown prince built his reputation as a bold reformer.
Information for this article was contributed by Abdullah Al-Shihri, Aya Batrawy, Jon Gambrell, Fay Abuelgasim and Vivian Salama of The Associated Press; and by Adam Taylor of The Washington Post.