August 1, 2019 / 1:13 PM / 23 days ago

Search for new IMF head widens to include British candidate -sources

BRUSSELS, Aug 1 (Reuters) - European governments widened their search for a new head of the International Monetary Fund, extending a deadline to 1800 GMT on Thursday so that Britain can put forward a candidate, people close to the negotiations said.

EU finance ministers, having failed to reach a consensus, will also hold a series of votes from Friday morning to choose their favourite of six candidates, the sources said.

The five declared candidates are: Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch former head of euro zone finance ministers; Nadia Calvino, the Spanish economy minister; Olli Rehn, the Finnish central bank governor; Mario Centeno, the Portuguese chairman of euro zone finance ministers; and Bulgaria’s World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva.

An as yet unnamed British candidate - who is not expected to be Bank of England governor Mark Carney - will join them.

The top job at the Washington-based global lender has historically been filled by a European. Outgoing IMF head Christine Lagarde is taking over from Mario Draghi as European Central Bank president.

Officials have told Reuters that Carney, who holds Canadian, British and Irish passports, was not considered European enough. (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, writing by Robin Emmott; editing by John Stonestreet)

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