No Unanimous Support For New Indo Central Bank Chief

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s surprise choice of Agus Martowardojo to run Indonesia’s central bank met with mixed reactions, with some questioning his record as finance minister and others praising his banking experience.

Yudhoyono nominated Martowardojo as his only candidate to succeed Bank Indonesia Governor Darmin Nasution when his term ends May 23. Martowardojo, 57, former president director of PT Bank Mandiri, was rejected for the top central bank post by the parliament’s finance committee when Yudhoyono picked him in 2008.

“He is a very experienced senior banker,” Eugene Galbraith, deputy president director of Bank Central Asia, the country’s biggest bank by market value, said in a mobile-phone text message. “He has done well as finance minister and now combines top-level knowledge of both the government regulators and the banking community.”

At the same time, PT Samuel Sekuritas economist Lana Soelistianingsih doubts Martowardojo’s ability to shepherd Southeast Asia’s biggest economy as it faces a weakening currency, a widening current-account deficit and inflation stemming from power tariff increases and higher wages. The parliament’s finance committee will conduct a so-called fit-and- proper test on Martowardojo before he can be approved by lawmakers in a plenary meeting.


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