UPDATE 3-Singapore picks Chia Der Jiun as central bank head from next year


Appointment will take effect from Jan 1, 2024


Chia had previously spent 18 years at MAS


Analysts expect no major change of policy direction

(Adds analysts' comments in paragraphs 5 and 6)

By Chen Lin

SINGAPORE, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Singapore named Chia Der Jiun as chief of its central bank on Monday, replacing Ravi Menon, the city state's longest-serving central banker, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said.

Menon, who turns 59 this year, had been re-appointed as recently in May for two more years in his role but will retire from public service after more than a decade at the central bank, MAS said. It gave no reason for his earlier than expected departure.

Chia, a permanent secretary at Singapore's manpower ministry, had previously spent 18 years at the MAS and led major functions from implementing monetary policy to managing reserves. His appointment will take effect from Jan 1. next year, the MAS said in a statement.

Singapore's central bank was one of the earliest to tighten monetary policy as the country of 5.6 million exited the COVID-19 pandemic. It has tightened policy five times in a row since October 2021 but in April left policy settings unchanged.

Analysts said Chia will have to continue dealing with the challenge of balancing the weak economic outlook and still- elevated inflation, but were not expecting any major change in MAS’s policy direction as Chia takes over.

"He is very experienced and has spent many years at the MAS previously. Regardless of who is at the helm the independence and high standing of the central bank is unlikely to change," said OCBC economist Selena Ling. (Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore; Additional reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and David Holmes)