Mexican Head of Central Bank to stay through November

A source at the central bank said Carstens had accepted, adding that the widely respected governor had offered to stay longer
Photo: File photo / REUTERS
21/02/2017
13:15
Mexico
Newsroom and Reuters
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Mexico's Central Bank (Banxico) governor, Agustín Carstens, will remain in office until the end of November, a spokesman for the president said on Monday, amid uncertainty about the impact of U.S. President Donald Trump's policies on Latin America's No. 2 economy.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto asked Carstens to stay until Nov. 30, according to the spokesman at the president's office, who asked not to be identified. Carstens was set to step down at the end of June to take the top post at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in October.

A source at the central bank said Carstens had accepted, adding that the widely respected governor had offered to stay longer.

Mexico's peso sank to a record low following the November election of Trump, who has threatened to slap tariffs on Mexican-made goods and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The currency also took a hit when Carstens, who has headed the central bank since 2010, announced on December 1 he would leave his post more than four years before the end of his second six-year term, sparking criticism he was leaving at a bad time for Mexico.

The peso did not move on news of Carstens extending his stay at the Banco de Mexico, although U.S. markets were closed for the Presidents Day holiday. The peso was trading about 0.25 percent stronger on Monday.

The weak peso has fanned inflation. Mexico's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate to a nearly 8-year high earlier this month after a steep hike in gasoline prices pushed annual inflation to its highest level in more than four years.

For his part, Carstens thank the Board of the Bank for International Settlements for their support to delay his addition as General Manager until December 1, 2017.

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