UPDATE 2-Putin makes aide Nabiullina Russian central bank chief

Tuesday 12th March, 2013

Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:46pm EDT

* Loyal technocrat lacks independent profile

* Could move bank towards looser policy

* Hawkish central bank insiders passed over

By Alexei Anishchuk

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, March 12 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday chose his chief economic adviser to head Russia’s central bank, backing a loyal technocrat seen as more likely to bow to political pressures to ease monetary policy than other potential candidates.

Elvira Nabiullina, a 49-year-old economist and former cabinet minister, emerged as a compromise choice after Putin ruled out picking an insider to replace Sergei Ignatyev, who is standing down in June after 11 years in the job.

Putin blessed Nabiullina’s candidacy in a meeting at his residence outside Moscow. In a sign of her lack of experience in monetary policy, Nabiullina immediately asked for Ignatyev – who was present – to stay on as an adviser.

She will join a small female contingent at the top table of global finance, led by International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde and the heads of the central banks of South Africa and Argentina, just in time for Russia to host the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg this September. …

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