Norway Central Bank Governor to Step Down After 11 Year Term
(Bloomberg) -- Norway’s central bank Governor Oystein Olsen is stepping down in February after an 11-year term, potentially opening the door for the first female in the role for the richest Nordic economy.
“There is a time for everything,” Olsen, who turns 70 in January, said in a website statement. “This is a natural time to round off a long professional career. I have decided to remain in my post to the end of February next year and finish off with my 12th annual address.”
Olsen, who became the governor in January 2011, is now serving his second six-year term. Deputy Governor Ida Wolden Bache is his likely successor, according to Nordea Bank economist Dane Cekov.
The Oslo-based bank has been one of the most hawkish among the developed economies, and is on course to start tightening borrowing costs next month as the oil-rich nation undergoes a consumption-driven recovery.
“It should not lead to changes in Norges Bank’s Monetary Policy,” Nordea’s Cekov said. “Norges Bank’s monetary policy committee has a consensus based decision process and their decisions are based on the recommendation from the Bank’s economists.”
Norway has weathered the pandemic better than many peers, aided by the fiscal power of its $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest. That’s helped Olsen to steer clear of unconventional measures such as negative interest rates or asset purchases used by many of his counterparts, like policy makers at the European Central Bank and the Riksbank of Sweden.
The Finance Ministry said it is starting a process to find a successor for Olsen, with a goal of appointing a replacement in early 2022.
Norway has a long history of picking insiders for top jobs at the central bank. Olsen was plucked from the statistics agency, while he had earlier worked at the Finance Ministry.
Bache, born in 1973, has a PhD from Oslo University, and has held various posts at the central bank since 2013. She has served as the deputy governor in charge of central banking operations since April 2020, while also being the member of Denmark’s Systemic Risk Council since 2017.
The krone was little changed at 10.3575 against the euro.
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