TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Acting Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug is back in the running to officially take over as head of the central bank chief, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
Previously passed over as a potential candidate for the governorship, Flug’s name was once again raised after Israeli media reported that she had met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend.
Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid are expected to make an announcement on Sunday, ending a rocky and at times embarrassing selection process for Israel that has dragged out for months and included two failed nominations.
The prime minister’s office declined to comment and a spokeswoman for Lapid could not be reached to confirm Flug’s renewed candidacy.
Previous central bank governor Stanley Fischer stepped down at the end of June after eight years in the job. He had recommended Flug, his deputy, to replace him, but Netanyahu, officials said, preferred candidates with a stronger international standing.
Flug had said she would step down once a new appointee is in place.
Until now there were three candidates who have been approved by a vetting committee: former Argentinian central bank president Mario Blejer, former Bank of Israel Deputy Governor Zvi Eckstein and former Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank Chief Executive Victor Medina.
The prime minister has warmed to the idea of her candidacy as the process dragged on and after he and Lapid failed to agree on the other candidates, TheMarker financial newspaper reported.
Other reasons for the reappearance of Flug’s candidacy are the good impression she has made on Netanyahu as acting governor and Fischer’s ongoing support for her, the report said.
Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Ari Rabinovitch