September 24, 2018 / 10:15 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 2-Slovenia central bank chief candidate expects ECB rates to stay low

(Adds quote, details from para 4)

By Marja Novak

LJUBLJANA, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Primoz Dolenc, a candidate to become Slovenia’s next central bank governor, said on Monday he expected European Central Bank interest rates to remain low through the summer of next year.

Dolenc, currently Slovenia’s deputy central bank governor, stuck to the wording the ECB itself has repeated after its last few meetings. The new central bank governor will take a seat on the ECB Governing Council.

“I cannot comment on when they (interest rates) will change,” he told journalists at a presentation of his future programme for the central bank.

Slovenia has been looking to replace Bostjan Jazbec, who resigned as central bank chief in April to take up a role on the European Union’s Single Resolution Board.

Dolenc said that one of his main goals if he gets the job would be to strengthen banking supervision within Slovenia, but he added that he did not see any short- or mid-term risks for the country’s banking system.

He said he himself played no part in the Slovenian banking crisis that almost forced the country into an international bailout in 2013. He was the head of treasury at lender Abanka from 2006 to 2008 but said he was not in a position to participate in the lending policy of the bank.

Abanka was one of several banks that were bailed out by the state in 2013, preventing it from collapsing due to the volume of bad loans on its books.

Dolenc said he saw no reasons for any concern in the euro zone or in Slovenia at present regarding their latest macroeconomic indicators.

“There are no unexpected (economic) movements in the euro zone, we follow risks but ... the movements do not have a significant influence on the estimate of economic growth and inflation (in the euro zone),” Dolenc said.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor named Dolenc as his candidate for governor last Wednesday, but analysts said it was unclear whether parliament would back Dolenc for the job. (Reporting by Marja Novak; Writing by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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