Keep an Eye on Germans in ECB Succession Race, Jefferies Says

© Reuters. Keep an Eye on Germans in ECB Succession Race, Jefferies Says

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Investors have adopted a “benign” view on the race to succeed European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that could be mistaken, according to Jefferies International economist Marchel Alexandrovich.

In a note on Friday, Alexandrovich said that markets should stay focused on the German candidates for top European Union roles to determine the future policy of the ECB. They include Commission candidate Manfred Weber and Jens Weidmann, the Bundesbank president vying to replace Draghi.

Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure, and the current and former governors of the Bank of Finland, Olli Rehn and Erkki Liikanen, are all also in the running for the ECB.

“At the moment, the markets are focused on other names, with potential candidates including Villeroy, Coeure, Rehn and Liikanen all expected to offer an uneventful transition from Draghi,” Alexandrovich wrote. “This benign view could prove completely misplaced if a policy hawk ends up in charge of the ECB.”

For Alexandrovich, those focusing on the race should pay “particularly attention” to Weber’s prospects. If he gets the Commission job, then Weidmann won’t clinch the ECB role.

“If Weber ends up stepping aside, then part of the agreed deal between Germany and France could be that Weidmann, or perhaps another German economist, ends up in charge of the ECB.”

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