Indonesian president nominates Perry Warjiyo to head central bank

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo has selected Perry Warjiyo, a deputy governor at Bank Indonesia (BI), as his choice for central bank governor when the current head steps down in May, a senior adviser to the vice president confirmed on Saturday.

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Earlier, a source who declined to be identified because the information has not been officially released, also said Warjiyo has been nominated through a letter submitted to parliament late on Friday.

“Out of four names, only one was nominated by the president,” said Sofjan Wanandi, a senior adviser to Vice President Jusuf Kalla. He answered “correct,” when asked if the candidate was Warjiyo.

Warjiyo did not respond to a request for comment.

Johan Budi, a presidential spokesman, said he has no information on the nomination. A BI spokesman said he has not seen the nomination letter and has no comment yet.

The term of the current BI governor, Agus Martowardojo, will end in May and parliament is due to conduct a “fit and proper test” on the president’s nomination before approval.

Warjiyo’s nomination is not a surprise, said David Sumual, an economist with Bank Central Asia (BCA), adding that he would be suitable for the post.

“He had mastered the monetary field and also plays a major role in macro-prudential policies,” Sumual said.

As a deputy governor, Warjiyo’s role includes monetary policy mix formulation, financial market deepening and Islamic financial market development, among others.

Being a central bank insider, Warjiyo would be able to quickly adapt to his new role, analysts said.

Warjiyo’s name has been circulating among local media as a possible candidate since earlier this month, along with current governor Agus Martowardojo. The other two names were planning minister Bambang Brodjonegoro and former finance minister Chatib Basri.

Martowardojo will complete his five-year term after being appointed by previous president in 2013.

Analysts said BI’s credibility has improved under Martowardojo’s leadership, especially in controlling inflation and managing the rupiah’s volatility.

Reporting by Maikel Jefriando; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Jacqueline Wong