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Former economics minister to be appointed Central Bank governor

March 13, 2013, 11:32 UTC+3

Elvira Nabiullina is replacing Sergei Ignatyev whose term is expires in June

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President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday he would propose his incumbent adviser, former economics minister Elvira Nabiullina to the post of Central Bank governor. Nabiullina is replacing Sergei Ignatyev whose term is expires in June. Experts gave enthusiastic comments on the news.

The president has kept his promise to surprise everybody with the candidacy of the new CBR chief, the Kommersant writes. "We were promised that the decision would be unexpected; the promise has been kept," the newspaper cited chairman of Yunikreditbank board Mikhail Alexeyev as saying. Before Monday, experts named first deputy chairman of the Central Bank Alexei Ulyukayev, VTB head Mikhail Zadornov, VTB president Andrei Kostin, and presidential aide Sergei Glazyev among the most likely candidates.

Of all these candidates, only Alexei Ulyukayev commented on the president's final choice: "I'm hoping for succession of the monetary policy."

Head of the VTB observer council, former Central Bank governor Sergei Dubinin believes that thanks to this appointment, "there will be no dramatic upheavals, contrary to the actively disseminated ideas in the recent past which urged radical softening of the monetary policy."

"The polemics on this theme are a bad publicity move on the part of the people who are convinced they can resolve all problems in stride, such as economic growth, scientific and technological progress, employment, etc," Dubinin muses. He calls Nabiullina a top specialist.

Head of the board of directors of MDM Bank, former head of the Federal Financial Markets Service /FSFR/ and former first deputy chairman of the Central Bank Oleg Vyugin said: "I believe we'll have complete succession, especially because Elvira Nabiullina offered the incumbent Central Bank governor Sergei Ignatyev to be her adverse, if the parliament approves her as Central Bank chairperson; the president has supported this idea."

"I believe the banking community will take this news positively," Savings Bank chief German Gref told the Kommersant, "Elvira Nabiullina has a large working experience, and she's a very decent and transparent person which is a particularly important quality of CBR chief."

"I believe she will follow up Sergei Ignatyev's tradition, but in my opinion, certain reforms are due, in the first place in supervision and the cleansing of the banking system of quasi-banks," Gref said.

"Elvira Nabiullina will be Central Bank chairperson. A good candidate. I wish her success," the Vedomosti cited former Financier Minister Alexei Kudrin who had made comments on Twitter.

"She's a fighter tested in various projects, an excellent professional and reliable colleague," First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said adding that "her efforts are crucial for the success of the government."

"Our plans to set up a mega-regulator will materialize," Shuvalov said.

First deputy speaker of the State Duma /lower house of the Russian parliament/ Alexander Zhukov, cited by the RBK Daily, stated that he supported the candidacy of the new CBR chief: "Nabiullina is a very competent economist with a large working experience at top posts."

"Nabiullina will pursue a policy of succession. Any longer-term refinancing programs or cuts in the rates can hardly be expected from her," chairman of the MDM Bank board Oleg Vyugin says. He notes that certain faults of the present-day banking supervision are explained by its being pegged to formal principles. Another problem of the CBR is the presence of the shadow economic sector, whose reduction largely depends on law-enforcement bodies, not the Central Bank.

In the opinion of owner of the Moscow Credit Bank Roman Avdeyev, Elvira Nabiullina's competence cannot be doubted. Although she is not from the banking sector, she is still from the financial sphere."If believe Ignatyev's successor will keep the basic management principles," the businessman noted.


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