Indonesia Finance Minister Sri Mulyani among candidates for top central bank job - sources


Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani is a former World Bank managing director is a well-known figure in the global financial community and has served two stints as finance minister under two presidents, the latest starting in 2016. - Reuters

JAKARTA, Jan 31 (Reuters): Indonesia's finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati is among candidates being considered to be the next central bank governor, replacing the current chief whose term ends in May, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

The former World Bank managing director is a well-known figure in the global financial community and has served two stints as finance minister under two presidents, the latest starting in 2016.

She has won plaudits for reforming the taxation system and for her role in steering South-East Asia's biggest economy through the pandemic.

But Yustinus Prastowo, a special aide to Sri Mulyani, said there was no discussion in the finance ministry on her potential candidacy as the new Bank Indonesia (BI) governor.

Current BI chief Perry Warjiyo was also being considered for a second and final term, four of the sources told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity since the matter has not been made public.

The head of the Indonesia Deposit Insurance Corporation, Purbaya Yudhi Sadewa, and BI's senior deputy governor, Destry Damayanti, were also identified by sources as potential candidates.

A lawmaker in the president's ruling coalition said Sri Mulyani was favoured to take the job. But another source said the short-listing process was still underway.

"It's not down to one name yet," the source said.

When asked about her potential candidacy, Sri Mulyani on Tuesday said her focus was on her current role and said the mechanism to select a new governor would be based on law.

Warjiyo and Purbaya, also on the panel for the news conference, did not answer the question.

Purbaya declined to comment on his potential candidacy when contacted by Reuters on Monday after local media Detik.com and Kumparan.com reported the names.

President Joko Widodo's office and Destry did not respond to requests for comment.

The current governor, Warjiyo, who will conclude his five-year term on May 24, is a career central banker who has played a key role in reforming BI's monetary policy mix.

He has overseen BI's pandemic response, which included unconventional policies such as buying bonds directly from the government, rather than just in the secondary market.

BI has lifted interest rates by 225 basis points since August as part of the central bank's post-pandemic tightening cycle.

Under a recently revised central bank law, the president must submit at least one name to parliament by February, to allow time for lawmakers to conduct a fit-and-proper test for candidates before selecting the best person for the job. - Reuters

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