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PBOC governor's retirement seen in absence from top advisory body
[BEIJING] People's Bank of China (PBOC) governor Zhou Xiaochuan wasn't included on a new list of the nation's top political advisory body, the strongest signal yet of his looming retirement.
Mr Zhou, who has served as vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) since 2013, isn't being re-selected as a member of the conference's 13th national committee, according to Xinhua News Agency. The absence signals Mr Zhou - who turns 70 on Monday - is likely to retire from the central bank by March, when the conference usually holds its annual meeting.
The National People's Congress Standing Committee will hold a meeting on Jan 29 and Jan 30, with the agenda including an item to review appointment proposals, according to the legislature's website. While it's not known whether the PBOC governor's appointment plan will be considered, the meeting technically opens a window for a decision.
Meanwhile, Vice-Premier Wang Yang, the Communist Party's No 4 official and until recently in charge of trade issues, was added to the CPPCC national committee, indicating the 62-year-old will become the new chairman.
It's "reasonable to infer" Mr Zhou's absence signals approaching retirement, said Ding Shuang, chief economist for Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered in Hong Kong.
The personnel change "won't' influence policy orientation much, which isn't determined by PBOC itself, to some extent, although it does have flexibility in implementation", he said.