Argentine central bank chief Sandleris steps down

Reuters | Published: December 05, 2019 11:42:02 | Updated: December 06, 2019 14:14:31

Argentina's central bank chief Guido Sandleris attends a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 28, 2019 — Reuters photo

Argentina central bank chief Guido Sandleris resigned on Wednesday, an expected step as Latin America’s third-largest economy transitions to Peronism next week under newly elected President Alberto Fernandez.

Sandleris said in a letter to President Mauricio Macri that he would leave his position on December 9, one day before Fernandez will be sworn into office.

Sandleris said he was honoured to have served, but worried Argentina’s tradition of overhauling central bank leadership with every election contributed to a “lack of basic consensus around the importance of building a healthy currency, and, especially, how to go about it.”

The peso has sunk since last year and annual inflation is over 50 per cent.

Argentina’s incoming Peronist government now faces a major test to right an economy that has been mired in recession for much of the last year, grappling with soaring inflation, rising poverty and interest rates above 60 per cent.

Fernandez has yet to announce a new central bank president. But Miguel Angel Pesce, an economist, is a likely candidate, according to one source with knowledge of the matter and some domestic media outlets.

Sandleris, who holds a doctorate in economics from Columbia University, had been in his role since September 2018. He previously served as economic policy secretary under outgoing conservative President Mauricio Macri.

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