Mexico’s president spooks markets with central bank nominee

Mexico’s president unnerved monetary markets on Wednesday by nominating an obscure public sector economist to go the nation’s central bank, inflicting the peso to slip to its lowest degree since March.

The announcement got here a day after surprising information that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had withdrawn his previous nominee Arturo Herrera — a former finance minister higher identified to traders.

At his morning information convention, López Obrador gave little rationalization for his change of coronary heart however tried to calm fears that he needs to intervene within the bank’s policymaking.

“We’ve demonstrated with the info that we’re respectful of the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico,” he advised reporters. “There hasn’t been any meddling by the federal government, by the finance ministry within the Bank of Mexico’s choices.”

The Mexican peso weakened dramatically on the announcement, falling as a lot as 1.8 per cent towards the US greenback to commerce as low 21.6 to the reserve foreign money. The slide made the peso the worst-performing rising market foreign money on Friday, in response to Bloomberg knowledge.

Victoria Rodríguez Ceja, who has run federal authorities spending at a time of deep austerity cuts, doesn’t have monetary policy experience however is a longtime public finance official on the state and federal degree.

Chopping public spending is a key tenet of López Obrador’s authorities, and he sees it as carefully linked to the struggle towards corruption.

“The market could be very cautious as a result of we don’t know [Rodríguez Ceja’s] place on inflation, particularly on her notion of whether or not it’s transitory or not,” stated Gabriela Siller, head of monetary and financial analysis at Banco Base. “Hers wasn’t a reputation being talked about as a potential candidate.”

If confirmed by the Senate as anticipated, Rodríguez Ceja could be the primary girl to run the central bank. Her appointment would additionally imply that the majority of the bank’s 5 governors could be girls.

The nomination comes at a difficult time for the central bank, as inflation within the nation surges — a phenomenon testing policymakers throughout the globe. New figures from Mexico’s statistics company INEGI on Wednesday confirmed that inflation within the first half of November had climbed 7.05 per cent from a yr beforehand, the most important improve in 20 years.

In an try to tame inflation, the Bank of Mexico has raised charges on the previous 4 consecutive conferences.

Herrera — the earlier nominee — had been seen by markets as extra dovish than outgoing governor Alejandro Díaz de León. Although Rodríguez Ceja’s views are much less well-known, the final price rise was taken with a 4-1 vote, that means that her vote might not sway coverage in a brand new path within the brief time period.

The surprising change in nominee comes the identical week that the president printed a directive to fast-track mega projects, a transfer the opposition — and attorneys — stated was unconstitutional, vowing to carry authorized challenges.

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