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Continuing tension in the countries affected by last year’s political uprisings in the Middle East, coupled with upcoming elections in the U.S., France, Russia and China and the ongoing eurozone debt crisis, could make 2012 an especially volatile year for businesses that invest, operate, trade or lend in emerging markets, according to a new study by Aon Risk Solutions.

The study examines political risk in 167 countries and territories to assess the risk level of exchange transfer, sovereign non-payment, political interference, supply chain disruption, legal and regulatory, and political violence. The study ranked each country from low to very high risk; 15 countries came in as “very high.” The ratings reflect a combination of analysis by Aon Risk Solutions, Oxford Analytica, and the opinions of 26 Lloyd’s syndicates and corporate insurers writing political risk insurance.

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