Malaysia names new central bank governor to succeed long-time chief Zeti

Bank Negara Malaysia deputy governor Muhammad Ibrahim will take over as governor from May 1, 2016.
Bank Negara Malaysia deputy governor Muhammad Ibrahim will take over as governor from May 1, 2016. PHOTO: STAR PUBLICATIONS (M) BERHAD

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters/THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia said on Wednesday (April 27) it has appointed Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim as the new governor of the central bank, after months of market speculation and uncertainty ahead of the retirement of long-standing chief Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Mr Muhammad Ibrahim, who is currently a deputy governor, will take over from May 1, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's office.

"I am confident that under Muhammad's leadership, Bank Negara Malaysia can continue its service in helping the government, providing advice and views for catalyzing the country's economic growth, as well as administer monetary policy and overseeing the country's financial industry, including continuing Bank Negara Malaysia's efforts to grow the financial industry," Prime Minister Najib Razak said in the statement.

Datuk Seri Najib also expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Tan Sri Zeti for her excellent contributions during her tenure as the seventh governor of the central bank.

Dr Zeti is stepping down on April 30 as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor after 16 years at the helm. She is widely respected and credited for both steady policy making and pushing reforms such as the independence of the central bank.

Mr Muhammad was appointed deputy governor in 2010. He is a a graduate of Harvard University.

He is a member of the central bank's monetary policy committee and sits as an independent director on the board of national oil firm Petronas.