Mexico's central bank chief resigns for international post

MEXICO CITY – The head of Mexico’s central bank said Thursday he is resigning to become the new general manager of the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland.

Banco de Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens said in a statement that he had submitted his resignation to President Enrique Pena Nieto effective on July 1. He will assume his new position on October 1.

Carstens was scheduled to speak later Thursday. In a statement, President Enrique Pena Nieto congratulated Carstens and said his selection was an endorsement of Mexico’s macroeconomic policies.

The BIS is the bank for the world’s central bankers. Carstens will be the first central banker from a developing country to hold the position.

Carstens leaves as Mexico’s currency has been hammered this year and reacted with uncertainty to the presidential election of Donald Trump. But he was generally seen as a steady hand on the levers of Mexico’s monetary policy.

Jaime Reusche, a Mexico analyst with Moody’s Investors Service, said in a statement that while Carstens had an excellent reputation, it was important to remember that Mexico had a long history of continuity in its economic policies that will continue.

Professor Abraham Isaac Vergara Contreras, co-ordinator of the accounting and business management program at Iberoamerican University, said it was not the best time for Carstens to leave with the peso weak and growth slow.

“The external turbulence, in particular the arrival in January of Donald Trump, will be a rough test for his final six months in charge of Banxico,” he said.