Jamie Dimon would be good choice for Trump's treasury secretary, Morgan Stanley's Kelleher says

Trump courts JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, spurring successor talk

Jamie Dimon would be "very good" as treasury secretary, but JPMorgan would feel the loss of his leadership, said Colm Kelleher, president of rival bank Morgan Stanley.

In an interview with CNBC, Kelleher also said it was "encouraging" that the Trump transition team had made "practical" appointments, calling Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus a "wise choice" as chief of staff.

On the other candidates reported to be in the running for treasury secretary in President-elect Donald Trump's administration, Kelleher said that he did not know Trump campaign finance manager Steven Mnuchin but added that the former Goldman Sachs banker was "qualified" and that people have spoken highly of him.

There were conflicting news reports over whether Dimon, a Wall Street veteran who led JPMorgan through the global financial crisis, was a candidate for treasury secretary.

Trump win a show of more populist outrage: Morgan Stanley

Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo tweeted that Dimon would "get" the job and Fox Business News reporters tweeted that Dimon was one of the candidates being considered. Meanwhile, a Trump transition team source told Reuters that Dimon was "pitching hard" for the job. But two other sources told the news agency that Dimon was not interested, and Reuters reported that JPMorgan spokespeople as well as Dimon had declined to comment.

"Jamie Dimon, I think, has been an exceptional leader in finance, pre- and post-crisis," Kelleher told CNBC's "Squawkbox" at the Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore on Thursday. "It would be very good for the country were it Jamie Dimon. It probably wouldn't be so good for Chase."

JPMorgan shares were up slightly in premarket trading Thursday but fell 2.47 percent on Wednesday, following reports that Dimon could join the Trump administration.

Not surprising if Jamie Dimon turns down Treasury post: Expert

Kelleher attributed Trump's surprise election win to the same voter sentiment that drove Britain's unexpected vote to exit the European Union.

"I think the Trump presidency is just another example of populist outrage at the establishment," he said, adding that the same political phenomenon was being seen elsewhere, citing upcoming elections in Germany, France and Austria.

Far-right parties espousing anti-immigration rhetoric have been making headway across Europe in recent months. This was most notable when the far-right Alternative for Germany party defeated German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats in regional elections in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in September. In France, the right-wing politician Marine Le Pen is expected to be one of the final two candidates in the first round of the country's presidential elections.

"People are voting on sentiment rather than the issues themselves at the moment," Kelleher added.

Meanwhile, Kelleher was confident that markets had largely got the "reflationary" post-Trump trade right, despite scant details on the President-elect's policy proposals.

"I think (infrastructure spend) will be significant. ... [With] the House and the Senate both Republican, probably he will get a lift in the debt ceiling to allow him to do that," Kelleher said, adding that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had proposed a similar infrastructure policy to Trump's, and that there was a broad consensus of approval for such a move.

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