December 24, 2018 / 9:28 AM / 6 months ago

Amir Yaron takes over as Bank of Israel governor

JERUSALEM, Dec 24 (Reuters) - U.S. finance professor Amir Yaron took over as governor of the Bank of Israel on Monday, saying the immediate challenge for the central bank is the “normalisation” of monetary policy.

The Israeli-born Yaron replaces Karnit Flug, whose five-year term ended last month. Deputy Governor Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg has been acting central bank chief since mid-November.

At the last meeting in late November, policymakers raised the benchmark interest rate to 0.25 percent from 0.1 percent, where the rate had stood since early 2015.

“I view the interest rate as the main and most effective tool for directing monetary policy,” Yaron said moments after he was sworn in. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen)

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