S’pore Finance Minister said to be favorite to head IMFC

Flavia Krause-Jackson

Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam is the leading candidate to become the next chairman of the body that steers work of the International Monetary Fund, a Group of 20 official said.

Tharman would replace Youssef Boutros-Ghali, who resigned from the International Monetary and Financial Committee earlier this month. Boutros-Ghali, who served as chairman of the panel since October 2008, stepped down after he was replaced as Egyptian finance minister in a Jan. 31 cabinet reshuffle amid the political unrest that then unseated President Hosni Mubarak.

Shanmugaratnam, 53, won the backing of most of his peers at the G-20 meeting in Paris on Feb. 19, said the official, who declined to be identified because the decision hasn’t been finalized. Though not part of the G-20 club, Singapore was among three guest nations invited to the Paris gathering.

The minister served as chief executive officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the city state’s central bank and regulator, and entered politics in 2001, according to the government’s website. He was education minister for five years and took up his current post in 2007.

Shanmugaratnam is currently also a member of the Group of Thirty, an international economic and monetary affairs advisory group, according to the government website. He sits on the boards of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, as well as the Monetary Authority and the National Research Foundation.

The IMFC sets the work of the IMF and helps shape the international monetary and financial system. It monitors global liquidity and monitors potential disruption the global monetary and financial system. The 24-member panel of central bank governors and finance ministers meets twice a year. Other former chairmen of the IMFC include Gordon Brown, who stepped down when he became U.K. prime minister in 2007.



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