February 21, 2017 / 6:31 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Colombian regulator Hernandez named to central bank board

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BOGOTA, Feb 21, (Reuters) - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday named financial regulator Gerardo Hernandez to the central bank board, replacing one of its seven members.

Hernandez will help the board at its next policy meeting on Friday decide whether to change the key lending rate from its current 7.5 percent as the bank seeks to bolster sluggish economic growth while tackling still-high inflation.

He replaces the outgoing Carlos Gustavo Cano, whose term is ending after 12 years.

Hernandez, who is currently Colombia's Financial Superintendent, previously served at the central bank as executive manager and secretary of its board.

The market is expecting the bank to hold the benchmark rate for a second month to try and bring down inflation, though the board has been split on its recent decisions.

Hernandez is a lawyer and has postgraduate studies in economics at New York's New School for Social Research.

Santos is expected to name another board member in the coming days.

"There's another change and the government is this and will make an announcement soon," Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas told reporters.

The board also changed its chief last month, naming economist Juan Jose Echavarria to replace Jose Dario Uribe, whose term expired. (Reporting by Helen Murphy and Nelson Bocanegra Editing by W Simon)

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