June 21, 2018 / 8:44 AM / 7 months ago

Bank of Russia hires VTB Capital's Zabotkin as monetary policy chief

MOSCOW, June 21 (Reuters) - The Russian central bank will appoint VTB Capital strategist Alexei Zabotkin as the head of monetary policy department in August to replace Igor Dmitriev, who decided to leave the bank, the Bank of Russia and VTB Capital said on Thursday.

Dmitriev decided to leave the Bank of Russia from June 25 after serving as the head of the monetary policy department for five years, the central bank said in a statement on its website.

The central bank, which kept its key rate at 7.25 percent earlier this month and indicated it has nearly completed its rate-cutting cycle, said on its Facebook page that its monetary policy stance would remain unchanged after Dmitriev’s departure.

Dmitriev has steered the monetary policy of the central bank through one of the most turbulent times when the rouble crashed to record lows following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and a rapid decline in global oil prices.

During Dmitriev’s term, the central bank proceeded with a game-changing decision to let the rouble float freely in late 2014 while successfully reigning in once stubbornly high consumer inflation as it switched to inflation targeting policy.

The central bank said Zabotkin will become the head of the monetary policy department from August 20. Until then, the central bank’s Andrei Lipin will be the department’s acting head.

VTB Capital press office confirmed that its strategist Zabotkin will join the central bank in August.

VTB Capital, an investment arm of Russia’s No.2 state lender VTB, has served as the minting factory for state officials in the past few years.

Former VTB Capital economist Maxim Oreshkin is now Russia’s economy minister, economist Alexei Moiseev is deputy finance minister, while economist Nikolay Podguzov is the head of state postal operator Russian Post.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Elena Fabrichnaya, Editing by William Maclean

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