Argentina's new central bank chief a loyal government ally

jueves 2 de octubre de 2014 17:46 GYT

By Sarah Marsh and Hugh Bronstein

BUENOS AIRES Oct 2 (Reuters) - Career civil servant Alejandro Vanoli's banking CV is thin and his staunch defense of reforms to ramp up state controls in the Argentine economy suggest he will be an unquestioning government ally in his new job as central bank chief.

The former markets watchdog chief, 53, brands himself as a "people's economist" though he is far from a household name in Argentina and barely known in financial circles outside.

A professor in international finance, Vanoli has had stints in the economy ministry and as an advisor to the central bank. He is viewed as politically ambitious and keen to get into left-wing President Cristina Fernandez's inner circle.

Unlike his predecessor, Juan Carlos Fabrega, he is not expected to resist the expansive fiscal policies of powerful Economy Minister Axel Kicillof despite rampant inflation, or to hike interest rates that are in negative territory.

"The whole point of him is to represent the government in the central bank," said a local financial market source. "He is always doing what the government thinks has to be done."

As CNV watchdog chief, Vanoli helped draft legislation giving the body more supervisory powers over listed companies.

Argentine stocks and bonds have fallen heavily in reaction to his appointment as investors fear he may deepen trade and currency controls as the government struggles to protect evaporating foreign reserves.

"The risk remains that recent monetary tightening will now be reversed, with disastrous consequences for the peso," said Fiona Mackie, analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.   Continuación...