February 12, 2019 / 3:57 PM / 7 days ago

Estonia picks central bank deputy governor as new ECB rate-setter

TALLINN, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Estonia’s central bank has picked Madis Müller to replace Governor Ardo Hansson when his term expires in June and assume his seat on the European Central Bank’s rate-setting Governing Council, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Müller, 42, has been a Deputy Governor at the central bank since 2011 and was seen as the favourite to take over from Hansson. A former government and World Bank advisor, Müller is responsible for the implementation of monetary policy decisions and for managing the Estonian central bank’s financial assets.

Harvard-educated Hansson, a respected economist and known hawk on the ECB’s Governing Council, will leave on June 6 after his non-renewable term ends.

The appointment is part of a broader overhaul of the ECB’s policy-making body. More than a third of the 25 seats on the Governing Council are due to be turned over, including those of ECB President Mario Draghi and Chief Economist Peter Praet.

The changes also come at a sensitive time for the ECB, whose attempts to curb stimulus after a half a decade of unprecedented support may be thwarted by an unexpected economic slowdown.

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland, Latvia, Slovenia and Slovakia have all appointed or will appoint new central bank chiefs this year, in addition to Estonia.

The appointment of Estonia’s new central bank chief must be approved by the country’s president, although that is largely seen as a formality. (Reporting by Tarmo Virki Writing by Balazs Koranyi Editing by Catherine Evans)

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