KYIV, July 13 (Reuters) - The unexpected resignation of Ukrainian Central Bank Governor Yakiv Smoliy two weeks ago rattled markets as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government tried to reassure investors and foreign backers that its reform agenda remained on track.
Smoliy quit because of what he called “systematic political pressure”, weeks after Ukraine secured a $5 billion International Monetary Fund package that is contingent on the central bank’s remaining free of political meddling.
Parliament could appoint his successor this week. Following are some of the candidates named by Zelenskiy’s party or local media.
Head of the central bank’s supervisory council and an economy minister of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in 2007-2010.
Under his leadership, the supervisory council has criticised the central bank for its tight policy, strong hryvnia and slow rate cuts. Danylyshyn also calls for cheap loans.
A former head of Ukraine’s second-biggest bank, the local unit of Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank, and a frontrunner to succeed Governor Valeria Gontareva when she resigned in 2017.
He ruled himself out as a candidate last week, saying the pressure on Smoliy showed there was an attempt to change central bank policy in a way that was “dangerous” to the economy.
A member of the central bank’s supervisory council and a supporter of Danylyshyn’s criticisms of Smoliy’s policies.
She was director of the central bank’s monetary policy department under President Viktor Yanukovich from 2011-2014, a time when it ran a fixed exchange-rate policy that led to a fall in foreign exchange reserves to $5 billion.
An alternate director for the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, combining the job with a supervisory board seat at two Ukrainian state-run banks, PrivatBank and Ukrgasbank.
Shevalev was a Deputy Finance Minister for European integration in 2015-2016 and local media believe he may suit international donors as well as secure enough lawmakers’ votes.
The head of state-run Ukrgasbank, who criticised Smoliy for too hawkish policy and a strong hryvnia, while praising the government’s efforts to make loans cheaper — something his bank has done, winning support from Zelenskiy.
Shevchenko was also praised by some of Zelenskiy’s party members and notably by Danylo Hetmantsev, head of the parliamentary finance committee. Hetmantsev ruled himself out as a potential candidate despite his party’s support.
Compiled by Natalia Zinets, editing by Katya Golubkova, Larry King