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China: Runners and riders for the PBoC top slot

It’s all change in the world’s most powerful central banks: the Federal Reserve has a new chair coming; the Bank of Japan will need a new one from April; and, no less significant, China could announce the next head of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) any day.

People’s Bank of China governor Zhou Xiaochuan

Incumbent governor Zhou Xiaochuan has openly stated he will retire soon, and Euromoney understands that the shortlist consists of four names – none of them widely admired deputy governor Pan Gongsheng.

Instead, these are the four:

Guo Shuqing

Guo is considered top of the list. Guo is the chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), and is the front-runner partly because of the importance of that position and partly because of the combination of financial and political experience that has preceded it.

He was chairman of China Construction Bank from 2005 to 2011, has served as the head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and was governor of province Shandong from 2013 to 2017.

Further back on the CV, he has also served as CEO of Central Huijin Investment, which is the part of the China Investment Corporation sovereign wealth fund that includes holdings in domestic banks. If that’s not enough, he has also run the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

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