IMF says new Ukraine central bank chief must be independent

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s next choice of central bank governor must be of high professional quality and independence, the International Monetary Fund’s country representative said on Monday.

The head of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Valeria Gontareva resigned earlier on Monday, depriving the country of a tough reformer capable of taking on vested interests. [nL8N1HI0SE]

“The governor should be praised for the progress she has made in strengthening the NBU as a professional and independent institution, cleaning up the banking system, and carefully managing monetary policy, succeeding in bringing down inflation and rebuilding reserves,” the IMF’s Jerome Vacher said.

“It will be critical to select a new governor of high professional quality and independence who can continue on the good road on which Ms. Gontareva has placed the NBU,” he said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Reporting by Matthias Williams; Editing by Andrew Heavens