Parliament confirmed on March 2 former International Monetary Fund economist, Koba Gvenetadze, as new member of the central bank board.
Gvenetadze filled a seat in the board of National Bank of Georgia (NBG), which became vacant in late February after expiration of NBG President Giorgi Kadagidze’s seven-year term.
It will be up to seven-member board to pick new president of the central bank among its members, which will then require approval from President Giorgi Margvelashvili.
Gvenetadze was approved by the Parliament with 81 votes.
During parliamentary committee hearings last month, Gvenetadze, whose candidacy was nominated by President Margvelashvili, showed concurrence of his views with most of the current policies pursued by of the central bank.
Many lawmakers from the GD ruling coalition had remained non-committal on supporting the nomination up until the vote. Senior GD MPs were undecided mostly because of Gvenetadze’s position over financial supervisory agency.
Parliament adopted bill, removing banking supervisory functions from NBG and transferring them to a separate agency, in July 2015 despite of widespread criticism of the move. President Margvelashvili vetoed the bill in late July, but the Parliament overturned it on September 3. But the bill was taken to the Constitutional Court, which suspended its enforcement pending final verdict.
During the parliamentary committee hearings, Gvenetadze indicated that he was more in favor of keeping financial supervisory agency within the central bank rather than removing it.
Before joining IMF in 2002, Gvenetadze served on various posts in the Georgian government; he was Deputy Finance Minister in 2000-2001.
From early 2008 till late 2009 he served as IMF resident representative in Azerbaijan and he was IMF resident representative in Kyrgyzstan in 2010-2014.