Hungary's prime minister nominates Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy to head central bank

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Hungary’s prime minister says he is nominating Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy as the new head of the National Bank of Hungary.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced the decision Friday morning on state radio the day before the end of the six-year term of current NBH President Andras Simor.

The nomination did not surprise markets — Orban has called Matolcsy his “right hand” — but there is much uncertainty and concern among experts about what role the central bank will play in the government’s efforts to generate economic growth in the coming years.

Orban also said Mihaly Varga, currently in charge of Hungary’s stalled negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for financial support, would replace Matolcsy at the Economy Ministry.