Taiwan Appoints Yang Chin-long as New Central Bank Governor

(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan central bank deputy governor Yang Chin-long is to succeed Governor Perng Fai-nan, signaling continuity in monetary policy.

Yang, 64, will replace Perng, cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung said at a briefing in Taipei Thursday. Yang has served as the institution’s top deputy since 2008. By selecting him to take over from one of the world’s longest-serving central bank governors, Taiwan’s policy makers are signaling that they’re aiming for consistency and stability.

"As Yang has served as a deputy for a long time, I don’t expect any major change in Taiwan’s monetary and exchange rate policy -- it’s a smooth succession," said Raymond Yeung, chief greater China economist for Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong. "He has a good relationship with other central banks. That may be able to facilitate policy communication."

Economists see growth in the export-oriented economy remaining stable amid resilient global demand, forecasting 2.5 percent growth this year after 2.84 percent last year. The benchmark interest rate has been kept unchanged at 1.375 percent since June 2016.

Read more on the outlook for Taiwan’s economy here

Yang’s appointment comes amid flux at global central banks. Jerome Powell is set to succeed U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is waiting to learn if he will be appointed to another term. China, Indonesia, South Korea and New Zealand also are transitioning to new central bank chiefs or may do so soon.

Yang joined the central bank’s Department of Economic Research in 1989 after working as a researcher at the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance for several years.

A fluent English-speaker, Yang helped communicate with the U.S. to get Taiwan removed from the currency watchlist in October. Still, Yang has rarely responded to media inquiries even though he serves as the institution’s official spokesman.

Yang earned a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. and later worked as the central bank’s first representative in London.

“Taiwan’s economy will be dominated by fiscal policy this year and will rely less on monetary policy for support,” said Woods Chen, chief economist at Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co. in Taipei. Tax breaks and government-backed infrastructure construction will help ease the burden on monetary policy, he said.

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