Marcus takes over as new Governor today

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pretoria - As Gill Marcus takes over as Governor of the Reserve Bank today, economists have praised her experience in the banking sector.

Marcus takes up her post amidst South Africa's first recession in 17 years and a difficult economic climate. She is replacing Tito Mboweni.

Nedbank Chief Economist Dennis Dykes told BuaNews on Monday, that the former deputy governor would bring a wealth of experience to the bank. "She has a lot of experience so she is clearly not unknown."

With regards to the calls for inflation targeting to be abandoned, announced by the government in 1999, Dykes said any changes to inflation targeting should be in consultation with government.

At the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the bank announced that it was expecting inflation to fall between the 3 and 6 percent target range in the second half of 2010.

Dykes said that another rate cut was likely when Marcus chairs her first two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting next Monday. "The decision will give us a glimpse of the new governor," said Dykes.

Investment Solutions senior economist Chris Hart said the two biggest challenges facing the bank were the maintenance of its credibility and independence.

The former deputy minister for finance was appointed to the post in July.