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Malaysia names Muhammad Ibrahim new central bank governor

A pedestrain passes by Bank Negara Malaysia Building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Goh Seng Chong | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A pedestrain passes by Bank Negara Malaysia Building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Malaysia said on Wednesday it has appointed Muhammad Ibrahim as the new governor of the central bank, after months of market speculation and uncertainty ahead of the retirement of longstanding chief Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Muhammad, who is currently a deputy governor, will take over effective May 1, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's office.

"I am confident that under Muhammad's leadership, Bank Negara Malaysia can continue its service in helping the government, providing advice and views for catalyzing the country's economic growth, as well as administer monetary policy and overseeing the country's financial industry, including continuing Bank Negara Malaysia's efforts to grow the financial industry," Prime Minister Najib Razak said in the statement.

Zeti is stepping down on April 30 as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor after 16 years at the helm. She is widely respected and credited for both steady policy making and pushing reforms such as the independence of the central bank.

Muhammad is a member of the central bank's monetary policy committee and sits as an independent director on the board of national oil firm Petronas.

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