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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ignatyev Taps Vyugin And Kozlov As Deputies

New Central Bank head Sergei Ignatyev on Tuesday nominated Oleg Vyugin and Andrei Kozlov to be his two first deputy chairmen, a move that is likely to please investors.

These are Ignatyev's first nominations since he replaced Viktor Gerashchenko at the Central Bank last month under high expectations that he would push bank reforms forward.

President Vladimir Putin has given his approval to the nominations, Prime-Tass reported.

The State Duma, which must approve the candidacies, will discuss them Wednesday, the deputy head of the Duma banking committee, Vladimir Tarachyov, told Prime-Tass.

Vyugin, a former deputy finance minister, would move to the Central Bank from Troika Dialog, where he works as managing vice president and chief economist.

Kozlov, a former first deputy Central Bank chairman, is currently managing director of a financial consulting company.

Both men confirmed that they had been appointed, and Vyugin immediately said that he favored a weaker ruble.

"Strengthening the ruble in real terms is harmful," Vyugin said at a news conference.

"The Finance Ministry should build up a [hard currency] financial reserve and should not allow excess [dollar] liquidity."

Vyugin said he would oversee credit, monetary and research policies.

He said that he had accepted the nomination after much thought, but joked that he was probably making the wrong decision.

"My life has been going in such a way that I have always changed jobs with big losses," Vyugin said.

"When I moved from the Institute of Economic Forecasts at the Academy of Sciences to the Finance Ministry in 1993, they started to give away free plots of land," he said. "Because I moved I didn't receive such a plot.

"Now that I have tendered my resignation [from Troika Dialog], they have started giving away shares to managers. Now I won't receive shares."

Vyugin was referring to Troika Dialog management's announcement last week that it would buy back a 80 percent stake in the brokerage from the Bank of Moscow.

Roland Nash, chief strategist at Renaissance Capital, said Vyugin could do a lot toward promoting a healthy economy.

"Oleg Vyugin is one of Russia's best technocratic reformers. He has an excellent reputation at understanding issues and being able to implement policies," he said.

"He's well-known by the investor community. It's an excellent appointment and very positive for both monetary stability and the hope of banking reform."

Also Tuesday, Ignatyev nominated Nadezhda Ivanova, the director of economic department at the Central Bank, to the bank's board.

Currently, five of the bank's 12 seats are vacant.