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* Pension group ATP's chief appointed governor
* Rohde to take helm at Nationalbank Feb 1
* Succeeds retiring Nils Bernstein
COPENHAGEN, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The Danish government has chosen ATP pension fund chief Lars Rohde to become head of the central bank, officials said on Tuesday.
Rohde, who had been widely tipped for the role, will succeed retiring Governor Nils Bernstein as head of the Nationalbank's three-member board of governors on Feb. 1, the prime minister's office said in a statement.
Rohde, age 58, has been chief executive of Denmark's biggest pension fund ATP since 1998.
"Lars Rohde is very qualified to manage the tasks facing the Nationalbank," Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in a statement.
Bernstein is retiring under regulations that require him to step down when he turns 70.
European Union member but euro outsider Denmark runs a fixed exchange-rate monetary policy to keep the Danish crown currency within a narrow band to the euro. That gives the central bank less influence over the economy than banks, like the euro zone's European Central Bank, who target inflation and run a free-floating currency. (Reporting by Copenhagen newsroom; editing by Patrick Graham)