2 de diciembre de 2015 / 16:33 / en 2 años

UPDATE 3-Argentina central bank chief may resign in days ahead

(Adds economist comment)

By Walter Bianchi and Jorge Otaola

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Argentina’s embattled central bank chief, Alejandro Vanoli, said on Wednesday he will decide in a few days if he will bow to pressure from the incoming government to resign.

President-elect Mauricio Macri has called on Vanoli to step down to make way for currency devaluation to spur exports and halt the drain on central bank reserves that Vanoli has used to prop up the peso.

Vanoli was appointed by outgoing leftist President Cristina Fernandez, who intervened deeply in the country’s markets during her eight years in power. Macri, a proponent of free markets, takes office on Dec. 10.

“In a few days I will announce a decision to you all, maybe over the weekend,” Vanoli told reporters gathered for a presentation on the central banks achievements during 2015.

“More important than the question of what’s going to happen with me, is the country, and that these policies be preserved.”

Macri’s cabinet has been named with Vanoli and the future leadership of the central bank hanging as a big question. Vanoli’s mandate extends until 2019.

“His resignation is widely expected and the more he collaborates, the easier the foreign exchange adjustment and the dismantling of controls on the financial account will be,” said Alejo Costa, chief strategist at local investment bank Puente.

Costa was referring to capital controls, introduced by Fernandez to prevent capital flight, that Macri has promised to unwind as they have hurt investor confidence and business.

“A resignation this week or over the weekend would be good news as it would let the new government introduce policies rather fast.”

Macri has said he would like to have economist and congressman Federico Sturzenegger lead the central bank.

Congress would have to ratify the appointment of the next central bank chief. A spokesperson for the central bank said Vanoli had made no coming announcement known within the bank.

The spokesperson said Vanoli “has never said that he is going to go but for political reasons, the call could come at any moment” from Fernandez telling him to quit. (Additional reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Sarah Marsh; Editing by David Gregorio and Bill Trott)

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