Falling oil prices have global implications for political risk in emerging markets.
A report entitled 2015 Political Risk Map, produced by Aon Risk Solution in partnership with Roubini Global Economics, listed oil-producing countries such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Russia and Venezuela as facing the most political risks, due to the low oil price.
The study, which measured political risks in 163 countries and territories, said: "The fall in energy prices threatens to weaken the balance sheets and test the resilience of key producers, particularly in the Middle East and Africa."
The report said many oil producers in the Middle East and Africa had "high" or "very high" country risk ratings. These included Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan and Turkmenistan.
The study also found Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, "which should otherwise benefit from cheaper oil imports", faced weakened security environments because of "power vacuums in Iraq, Libya and Syria".
Twelve countries were "downgraded" due to an increase in political risk. They were Angola, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Haiti, Libya, Mozambique, Oman, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
The report said African countries accounted for most of those downgraded, with fuel producers Angola, Ghana, Libya and Mozambique "particularly exposed to exchange transfer [risk of being unable to make currency payments caused by imposition of local currency controls] and sovereign non-payment risk [risk of government's failure or refusal to a loan agreement]".
Matthew Shires, head of political risk at Aon Risk Solutions, said: "Businesses need to constantly monitor their exposure to political risk such as the impact of oil price uncertainty and political instability."
Paul Domjan, managing director at Roubini Country Insights, said: "During 2014 political risks in the emerging markets rose, particularly in oil exporting regions."
The study determined the political risks facing each country based on factors such as exchange transfer; governmental intervention in economy; violence such as strikes, riots, war and civil war; sovereign non-payment; supply chain disruption; and legal and regulatory risks.