New BoT governor chosen

New BoT governor chosen

Cabinet approves committee proposal

Mr Sethaput will be the Bank of Thailand's 24th governor.
Mr Sethaput will be the Bank of Thailand's 24th governor.

Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, 55, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee and the prime minister's advisory team, has been selected as the next central bank governor, as widely expected.

He will replace Veerathai Santiprabhob, the central bank's 23rd governor, whose term ends in September.

The appointment comes with a five-year term that will become effective after royal endorsement.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the cabinet approved Mr Sethaput on Wednesday for the position, as proposed by the selection committee.

"Mr Sethaput received the highest marks from the committee," said the premier. "He is part of a new generation that meets the government's requirements to help the administration. The government is ready to give full support to these new appointees."

Mr Sethaput was one of two final candidates on the shortlist announced by the selection committee last Tuesday to become the next Bank of Thailand governor.

Four of the six candidates vying for the top post at the central bank outlined their visions on July 20. Two applicants were deemed unqualified for the job.

Of the applicants, four were external candidates and two were insiders.

The six candidates were central bank deputy governors Mathee Supapongse and Ronadol Numnonda; Tongjai Thanachanan, former head of institutional business at Ayudhya JF Asset Management (later renamed Krungsri Asset Management); Suchart Techaposai, former chief investment officer and head of fixed income at Ayudhya JF Asset Management; Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee and the prime minister's advisory team; and Anusorn Tamajai, director of business reform at Rangsit University.

The selection committee previously extended the application deadline for central bank governor from June 16 to July 10, saying the four applicants at the time were too few.

Mr Anusorn and Mr Sethaput applied during the extension period.

Kobsak Duangdee, secretary-general of Thai Bankers' Association, said the new governor will help build up the confidence of both the banking industry and the overall private sector, having been a member of the Monetary Policy Committee.

With this background, Mr Sethaput is expected to fulfil the central bank's tasks, said Mr Kobsak.

Mr Kobsak urged the new governor to continue existing policies, especially assistance measures offered to people affected by the crisis, as well as continuing to maintain financial stability. Asean connectivity is another key policy worth pursuing. Thailand could be the region's hub in several areas, such as trade and digital payment, said Mr Kobsak.

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