Lagarde to give China senior IMF job: sources

Wed Jul 6, 2011 5:49pm EDT
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By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China is close to clinching a top-level post at the International Monetary Fund, IMF sources said on Wednesday after the Fund's new chief pledged to give more power to emerging economies.

They said Min Zhu, a Chinese national who was a special adviser to former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was expected to fill a new deputy managing director post to be created by the Fund's new chief, Christine Lagarde.

"Min Zhu is expected to be named to deputy managing director," an IMF board member told Reuters. The appointment, which would give China one of the top five management jobs at the Fund, would first need the approval of the 24-member IMF board of member countries.

Lagarde on Wednesday vowed during her first news conference as managing director to give developing nations a greater role in the fund. She said she was considering creating a new high-level job that would be filled by a candidate from an emerging market country.

The move should appeal to emerging and developing markets, which have demanded a greater say in the international financial institution to reflect their growing economic clout.

China, the world's second-largest economy, has pressed for a senior-level position but was blocked by Japan's long-held lock on another deputy managing director post, currently held by Naoyuki Shinohara.

Zhu is a former deputy governor of the People's Bank of China.

His appointment would give Asia two senior management posts in the IMF plus the chair of the IMF's top advisory committee, which was recently filled by Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.   Continued...