June 22, 2020 / 3:31 PM / 10 days ago

Hungary central banker moves to senior government position

BUDAPEST, June 22 (Reuters) - Former Hungarian central bank Deputy Governor Marton Nagy, who resigned abruptly last month, has been appointed as an economic policy advisor to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the government said on Monday.

The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) has said Nagy, who joined the bank in 2002 and whose six-year term on the rate-setting Monetary Council had been due to expire in September 2021, resigned to take up another important leadership position.

The exact cause of his departure before the end of his term is still unclear.

As of June 15, Nagy was named as a personal advisor to Orban in economic policy issues as well as in the co-ordination of various branches of economic policy.

Nagy, the architect of much of the Hungarian central bank’s unconventional monetary easing campaign, was replaced by Barnabas Virag, appointed by President Janos Ader to the rate-setting Monetary Council on Monday.

Virag, a former central bank managing director, will take the oath of office on Tuesday. Analysts have said his appointment to the post would represent policy continuity at the bank, which meets on Tuesday to discuss monetary policy.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect no change in interest rates, although the bank is likely to downgrade its economic growth forecast for this year from 2% to 3% growth projected in March. (Reporting by Gergely Szakacs)

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