Prominent Jordanian banker Faris Sharaf was appointed the governor of Jordan's Central Bank Friday, replacing Ummaya Toukan, Jordan officials announced. Toukan had completed two five year terms.
Faris takes over the role at a time Jordan is witnessing the worst downturn since the economic crisis of 1989, when the aid-dependent kingdom was forced to seek help from the IMF. It is currently fighting to reduce its $2 billion deficit.
The Jordanian central bank has used successive rate cuts since late 2008 to motivate banks to extend cheaper credit and stimulate growth. The dinar's peg to the dollar will remain one of the main pillars of the monetary policy, officials told Reuters.
Faris was vice president and deputy central bank governor from 2003 until March 2008, and prior to that was CEO and Chairman of the investment unit of the Public Institution for Social Security as well as the government's pension fund. He is known to have played a key role in improving bank regulation measures and is credited with making broad improvements to the banking system. He also held several senior positions with international finance organisations, including the International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank.