China confirms Zhou Xiaochuan to stay as central bank chief

BEIJING, March 16 Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:12am EDT

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BEIJING, March 16 (Reuters) - China re-appointed Zhou Xiaochuan as governor of the central bank on Saturday, a widely-anticipated move following his election as a deputy chairman of parliament's top advisory body.

Reuters reported last month that Zhou was set to keep his central bank post, courtesy of his elevation to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) that carries "national-level leader" rank and exempts him from compulsory retirement at 65 for officials in cabinet minister-ranked jobs.

Zhou reached that age in January.

The announcement came on the penultimate day of China's annual session of parliament, the National People's Congress.

It is unclear how long Zhou will remain central bank chief, but a source with leadership ties told Reuters last month that he was needed to drive reforms to unshackle China's currency from capital account controls.

Analysts believe the People's Bank of China (PBOC) aims to make the yuan basically convertible by 2015.

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