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IDB chief nominates Argentine staffer for senior post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Inter-American Development Bank’s new chief, whose picks for three top management posts have been delayed by Argentina and Mexico, has nominated an Argentine official already at the bank to his leadership slate, a source familiar with the move said.

The IDB’s 14-member executive board is due to vote on all four nominations at a meeting on Friday, but Argentina and Mexico have twice delayed votes in recent weeks. It was not immediately clear if they would move to delay the vote again.

The new head of the IDB, Mauricio Claver-Carone, a former top adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump who was elected in September, had been opposed by both countries. Claver-Carone is the first U.S. citizen to head Latin America’s main financial institution. The United States is the development bank’s biggest shareholder, controlling 30%.

Claver-Carone’s decision to pick candidates from countries with much smaller stakes in the bank for top jobs irritated Argentina and Mexico, which control 11.3% and 7.3%, respectively, said the source. Other countries supported it.

A second source told Reuters last month that Mexico and Argentina wanted to wait until after the U.S. election before voting, believing that support for Claver-Carone might fade if Trump lost his re-election bid.

Claver-Carone had previously nominated Reina Irene Mejia, chief executive of Citi Honduras, for the No. 2 job at the IDB, along with former Paraguayan finance minister Benigno Lopez as vice president of sectors, and Ecuador’s former finance minister Richard Martinez as vice president of countries.

Last week he nominated Gustavo De Rosa, an Argentine who already serves as the bank’s chief financial officer, to become vice president for finance and administration.

But the choice of a non-political Argentine candidate did not sway Argentina, which still moved to delay consideration of the slate of candidates from last Friday’s board meeting.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Leslie Adler

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