Andrew Abir becomes Bank of Israel deputy chief after cabinet approval

JERUSALEM, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The Bank of Israel said Andrew Abir took up his post as deputy governor on Sunday after Israel's cabinet approved his appointment earlier in the day.

The bank's governor, Amir Yaron, recommended the appointment of Abir last month. The position had been vacant for nearly a year since Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg's five-year term ended, leaving the monetary policy committee (MPC) with five members.

Abir, a voting member of the MPC since 2017, has been head of the Bank of Israel's market operations department for eight years, with responsibility for managing foreign exchange reserves. He will remain a voting member of the MPC.

After the central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.25% in late November in contrast to expectations of a 15 basis point rate reduction, Abir told Reuters that policymakers believed intervention in the forex market was more suitable than rate cuts to lift inflation and boost Israel's economy.

The Oxford-educated Abir began his career at the Bank of Israel in the dealing room in 1987. (Reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Ros Russell)

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