Peru’s Castillo to Reappoint Velarde as Central Bank Head

Peru’s leftist presidential candidate Pedro Castillo said he is willing to reappoint the head of the country’s central bank, his most market-friendly move yet as he tries to emerge as the winner of the contested June 6 elections.

“Our commitment is to maintain fiscal balance and improve the quality of public spending, promote investments and respect the independence and autonomy of the BCRP,” Castillo said in a tweet late on Saturday. “Therefore, our willingness to ratify Dr. Julio Velarde as president of this important institution.”

With all ballots counted, Castillo is winning the June 6 runoff with 50.1% of the votes against 49.9% for right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori, who has refused to concede. She’s demanding instead that electoral authorities review ballots deemed irregular by her party. If the electoral court confirms Castillo’s victory, he’ll take office July 28.

Peru’s benchmark stock index has fallen 15% since the election, making it the world’s worst performer.

The comments may calm markets as Fujimori is favored by investors and business leaders, while Castillo won more votes among the poor, especially in rural districts. Velarde has headed Peru’s monetary authority since 2006 and is one of the world’s most experience central bankers.

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