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Zhou remains head of PBOC

Zhou remains head of PBOC

(19 March 2013 – China) China’s central bank Chief, Zhou Xiaochuan has been reappointed as Governor, which should help speed up market-based reforms needed to sustain long-term growth. The re-appointment of Zhou, a key driving force behind China's financial liberalisation, signals Beijing's bid to put economic growth on a more sustainable footing.

Zhou, took the helm of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) in 2002, and has led the drive to liberalise interest rates and abolish the yuan's peg to the United States dollar, a step along the path to turning it into a global currency.

Reuters reported last month that Zhou was to keep his central bank post, courtesy of his elevation to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) that carries 'national-level leader' rank and exempts him from compulsory retirement at 65 for officials in cabinet minister-ranked jobs.

Zhou reached that age in January.

It was unclear how long Zhou will remain central bank Chief, but a source with leadership ties told Reuters last month that he was needed to drive capital account reform.

Zhou will be the longest-serving central bank Chief since the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, and among the longest-serving in the world.

Analysts believe the PBOC aims to make the yuan basically convertible by 2015. But formidable challenges lie ahead as the country has entered a stage where big changes face push-back risks from vested interests, especially from state giants in key sectors.

In the near term, Zhou has to keep inflation, which climbed to a 10-month high of 3.2 percent in February, at bay while ensuring the economic recovery remains on track.
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