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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Paramonova Nomination Splits Banks

Banking circles were sharply divided Monday about the nomination of Tatyana Paramonova to chair the Central Bank.

President Boris Yeltsin formally nominated Paramonova, who is currently the bank's acting head, on Friday. Paramonova's predecessor, Viktor Gerashchenko, resigned after the ruble crashed to an all-time low of 3,926 to the dollar Oct. 11.

The nomination of Paramonova came as a surprise to many analysts who had expected her to occupy the position only temporarily.

Others, however, pointed to her competence as a professional banker.

"Her nomination is a pleasant surprise," said Sergei Shmelkov, president of CBC Bank. "Paramonova is an extremely competent banker and very far removed from politics. Usually the post of chairman of the Central Bank goes to a political figure."

But the powerful Association of Russian Banks, with more than 2,000 member banks, was less than happy with Paramonova's nomination, according to its press secretary Alexander Zagrinsky.

"We look at her as a temporary replacement," he said. "We expect to present a final list of candidates Wednesday morning."

Segodnya newspaper last week reported Yury Ponomarev, the head of Eurobank in Paris, and Yakov Dubentsky, the chairman of Promstroibank, as the association's candidates for the post of chairman of the Central Bank.

Despite the president's support, Paramonova still faces difficulty in the Duma.

"To be assured of Duma approval, Paramonova will have to campaign hard in party factions where she is not well known," said Pavel Medvedev, chairman of the Duma subcommittee on banking law. "Her competence and tact will be recommend her strongly and she stands a good chance of approval."