Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro appointed the third central bank president this year as Latin America’s biggest oil exporter seeks to rein in the fastest inflation among the world’s major economies.
Eudomar Tovar, a former central bank vice president and head of state currency board, was nominated by Maduro and approved by the National Assembly, the Information Ministry said in an e-mailed statement.
Tovar replaced Edmee Betancourt, who had served since April 22. No reason was given for her departure. Tovar’s academic degrees in currencies, finances and foreign trade compare to Betancourt’s training as industrial engineer.
“Tovar has a good understanding of economic issues,” said Jose Manuel Puente, public policy professor at the Institute of Advanced Administrative Studies in Caracas. “He’s a pragmatic and sober-headed man.”
The new appointment strengthens Merentes, Tovar’s former boss at the Finance Ministry and central bank, while also weakening Planning Minister Jorge Giordani, the Marxist economic architect of late President Hugo Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution,” said Asdrubal Oliveros, director of consultancy Ecoanalitica.
Since becoming finance minister in April, Merentes started new dollar auctions to companies and met more than 5,000 businessmen in a bid to damp world-beating inflation and reduce shortages of staple goods such as sugar, toilet paper and meat. Giordani has advocated greater state ownership of the economy and stricter currency controls to combat the same problems.
Venezuelan consumer prices accelerated 42.6% in July from a year earlier. The 382 billion dollars economy expanded 0.7% in the first quarter, the slowest pace among major Latin American economies