Candidates line up to replace Moldova’s central bank governor

Candidates line up to replace Moldova’s central bank governor
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest February 23, 2016

Nine candidates put their names forward to become Moldova’s new central bank governor by the February 22 deadline, the parliament has announced. However, none of the candidates have a high profile within the country, and there is no clear frontrunner.

Appointing a new governor on a transparent and professional basis is a pre-requisite for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union and Romania to continue their financial assistance to Moldova.

Dorin Dragutanu resigned from the position last autumn, citing pressure from the government in relation to the investigation into $1bn siphoned off from three banks. Investigating the frauds will be the main task for the new governor. For the time being Dragutanu remains in charge as a previous attempt to appoint a replacement failed.

Under Moldovan legislation, the committee set up by the parliament to review the candidates has limited capacities. The new governor will be selected by the parliament, but the final decision on which candidates will be put to the vote is made the parliament speaker, Andrian Candu. The speaker can choose one or more candidates from those accepted by the committee, or can propose another person.

In late 2015, the committee concluded that none of the candidates who put themselves forward qualified, and Candu refrained from making a proposal himself. He mentioned at the time that candidates should have worked for at least five years abroad and should not be linked to any bank operating on the Moldovan market.

Several of the candidates in the current round work for international banks. They include Sergiu Cioclea, managing director and head of corporate finance for Russia & CIS at BNP Paribas, Victor Timotin, a member of Mocow-based Orient Express Bank’s management team, Gheorghe Dimitrov, a manager at UniCredit in Poland, Ukraine and Bulgaria, and Sergiu Iachim, a consultant to Credit Agricole Luxembourg.

Another candidate, Valeriu Chițan, is a member of Moldova’s public audit body, the Court of Account, while Vladimir Munteanu works for the IMF in South Sudan.

Vadim Brînzan and Serghei Melnik are listed as the founders of Logos Advisers and Wolf Blitz Corporate Consulting respectively - two Florida-registered financial advisory firms. Roman Cernîșev is an investment manager mainly active in Israel, who holds joint Moldovan and Israeli citizenship.

Seven of the nine candidates submitted their documents on February 22, Jurnalul daily reported quoting parliament officials. Their resumes have been published on the parliament’s webpage.