Nowotny set for new term atop Austrian cenbank-sources

VIENNA Mon Jan 7, 2013 5:24am EST

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VIENNA Jan 7 (Reuters) - Ewald Nowotny is likely to be reappointed as head of the Austrian National Bank this week but may not serve the entire six-year term, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Nowotny, who will be 69 years old in June, may instead hand over to former European Central Bank Executive Board member Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell half way through the period, two sources said.

"This is not something you can put in writing. And who knows who will be in the government at that time. This is something that can be done only informally as an agreed aim," one of the sources said.

The head of the central bank gets a seat on the ECB's policy-setting governing council. Nowotny has had the job since September 2008.

The central bank's general council, or supervisory board, was meeting on Monday to propose its candidates for new terms in the top slots at the bank.

Nowotny and executive directors Andreas Ittner and Peter Zoellner were set for new terms, but Vice Governor Wolfgang Duchatczek would be replaced by Kurt Pribil, co-head of the Financial Market Authority (FMA) watchdog, three sources said.

Pribil would not become vice governor when he joins the bank's governing board, one source said.

The coalition government of centre-left Social Democrats and the conservative People's Party still needs to approve the nominations on Tuesday, but one source said: "It's obviously a done deal."

The central bank declined to comment.

Nowotny and Tumpel-Gugerell are both aligned with the Social Democrats, while Pribil is close to the conservatives.

The other co-head of the FMA, Helmut Ettl, was expected to get another term this year while a still be to be named "confidant" of conservative Finance Minister Maria Fekter would succeed Pribil, one of the sources said.

The terms of Nowotny and the other directors expire at the end of August 2013 but the government agreed to move forward the appointment process to keep it from getting bogged down in politics ahead of parliamentary elections due by autumn.

(Reporting by Michael Shields)

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