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China names currency specialist as new central bank chief

China has named Pan Gongsheng, a technocrat renowned for his tough stance against currency speculators and involvement in state banking reforms, as the new governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC). Previously heading China's top foreign exchange regulator since 2016, Pan succeeds Yi Gang, making him the first to hold both the central bank's top political post and governorship since Zhou Xiaochun. Pan faces the challenges of a declining property sector and significant local government debt, impacting both the banking sector and the broader economy. His appointment coincides with increased party control over the financial system, diminishing prospects of pro-market reforms championed by his predecessors. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has already met Pan during her recent visit to Beijing.


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