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El-Erian Responds to Rumors on Taking Egypt PM Position

Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 | 9:21 AM ET

Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian rejected the notion that he could become Egypt's next prime minister, telling CNBC that the post should go to someone who more closely experienced the country's 2011 revolution.

Mohamed El-Erian
Gillianne Tedder | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mohamed El-Erian

Rumors have been circulating that El-Erian, who helps manage the world's largest bond fund at the Newport Beach, Calif.-based Pimco, might lead a new Egyptian cabinet. His role was projected as a technocrat along the lines of Italy's Mario Monti, to help Egypt navigate its way through a new government.

But he told "Squawk Box" that the position is not for him.

"I have no idea where the rumor is coming from. I haven't been approached formally, nor do I expect to be approached," El-Erian said. "If I were, I could tell you that I would not be a candidate. There are many more qualified people out there."

He added: "I think at this stage in Egypt's history in particular it is very important that the candidates include people living in Egypt and that have gone through in person the revolution."

The rumors came from a report in the Al-Watan newspaper, which quoted an official with the Freedom and Justice Party who said El-Erian was being "studied" as an option.

El-Erian has spoken in the past about his pride in the Arab Spring, which saw former Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak forced into stepping down last year. But El-Erian has spent most of his adult life outside the country.

Delivering Alpha: Meeting of Market Movers
Mohamed El-Erian, PIMCO CEO & co-CIO, provides his perspective on stabilizing the euro zone; confronting the "fiscal cliff"; and whether the Fed should issue another round of easing.

He is well known to CNBC viewers for his commentary on U.S. and global markets, and his firm, formally named Pacific Investment Management Co., is influential in policy making circles.

El-Erian said it's important for Egyptto make more positive strides as it establishes a new government.

"They need to quickly get the economic situation under control," he said. "The economy is in such a situation that it alone can undermine not only the objective of the revolution but the revolution itself. So they need to get moving on that and they need to get moving on social issues."

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