Wolden Bache Faces Close Race for Norway Bank Chief Job, DN Says


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Norges Bank’s Deputy Governor Ida Wolden Bache may face close competition in the race to replace Oystein Olsen as Norway’s next central bank chief, newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv reported, citing economists.

Amund Holmsen, the director general at the finance ministry’s economic policy department, trails Bache by a “narrow margin” after Olsen announced this week he will step down in early 2022, the paper cited Sparebank’s Chief Economist Elisabeth Holvik, Nordkinn Asset Management’s Bjorn Roger Wilhelmsen and NHO’s Oystein Dorum as saying.

Holmsen has also held various position with the Norges Bank, including head of the financial stability department. Both Olsen and his predecessor Svein Gjedrem had held Holmsen’s current position before being picked as governors, the paper says.

Olsen’s early exit, announced this week, puts Wolden Bache in pole position to succeed him in running monetary policy for the richest Nordic economy per capita. If elected, she would become the first female central bank chief in Norway and only the third in the egalitarian Nordic region after Finland’s Sirkka Hamalainen-Lindfors and Denmark’s Bodil Nyboe Andersen.

The paper also named NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway, as a potential “wild card” in the race. Still, it cited Stoltenberg’s spokeswoman Sissel Kruse Larsen as saying: “Stoltenberg currently has all his attention focused on his job as Secretary General of NATO, where he has been appointed until Oct. 1, 2022.”

The finance ministry said on Thursday it is starting the process of replacing Olsen, who will step down in February, with a goal of appointing a new chief in early 2022. 

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