Moldova appoints new central bank governor

Moldova appoints new central bank governor
By bne IntelliNews March 14, 2016

Moldova's parliament endorsed Sergiu Cioclea as the country’s new central bank governor on March 11, with 61 of the 101 lawmakers voting in favour of his appointment.

Given his broad international experience and political independence, Cioclea’s nomination bodes well for the battered Moldovan banking system. 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.

Cioclea's nomination as the head of the National Bank of Moldova was supported by all the parties represented in the parliament, except for the Socialist Party and Communist Party, reported.

“I accepted [the nomination] because I believe I can pursue the necessary reforms,” Cioclea declared after he was appointed by the lawmakers.

“Moldova's banking system suffers from lack of transparency, it does not fulfil its role of financial intermediation and one can evaluate it as inefficient,” Cioclea stated. He added that one of his targets will be to attract foreign investors to the country's banking system.

Former BNP Paribas executive Cioclea was selected from among nine candidates by a parliamentary committee on March 2. This was the second attempt to appoint a central bank governor after the committee rejected all the candidates in a previous attempt in November.

Cioclea replaces Dorin Dragutanu, who resigned last October and has been in the meantime acting as interim governor.

At the age of 42, Cioclea has 17 years experience in emerging economies as consultant and manager, most recently as head of corporate finance for BNP Paribas in Moscow. His expertise ranges from the commercial banking sector to insurance, mergers and acquisitions and privatisation. Among other projects, Cioclea advised the seller in the privatisation of three Serbian banks, Continental, Novosadska and Jubanka.

The new governor’s primary task will be to continue investigations into the bank frauds that resulted in the siphoning off of $1bn from the banking system in recent years. The clarification of the ownership of Moldovan banks, as a step toward better corporate governance, is another key task, according to a team of IMF experts that recently visited the country.