July 14, 2020 / 5:38 PM / in 22 days

UPDATE 1-Ukraine leader tells IMF will name central bank candidate this week

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KYIV, July 14 (Reuters) - Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday told IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva he would nominate a candidate to be head of the country’s central bank by the end of this week.

“Informed @KGeorgieva that by the end of the week, I will have a new candidate for Head of the NBU for Parliament’s approval,” Zelenskiy tweeted.

“S/he will be an independent technocrat and continue the Bank’s independent course. I make all my decisions only in the interests of the Ukrainian people,” he said.

National Bank of Ukraine Governor Yakiv Smoliy quit on July 1, complaining of “systematic political pressure”, weeks after Ukraine secured an IMF deal to fight an economic slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

His exit rattled the markets, forced the government to abort a 12-year Eurobond placement worth $1.75 billion and raised concerns international backers, including the IMF, would freeze loans.

The IMF’s country representative said last week Ukraine must preserve the independence of its central bank under the next governor as part of a $5 billion IMF deal. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Chris Reese and Barbara Lewis)

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