Updates with cabinet decision
BANGKOK, July 29 (Reuters) - Thailand's cabinet on Wednesday named Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput, the prime minister's economic advisor and a former senior World Bank economist, as the next central bank governor, a government house source said.
The new chief, with a five-year term, will face the tough task of steering Southeast Asia's second-largest economy through the coronavirus pandemic, and with near-zero interest rates and high household debt.
"The cabinet has approved Sethaput as a new central bank governor to replace Veerathai (Santiprabhob), whose term ends on Sept. 30," the source told Reuters.
Sethaput had been widely tipped to get the job. He sits on the Bank of Thailand (BOT)'s Monetary Policy Committee and holds a doctorate in economics from Yale University.
The BOT predicts the economy will shrink by a record 8.1% this year as the coronavirus outbreak has decimated tourism and slowed domestic activity.
Last week, acting Finance Minister Santi Promphat said the 24th central bank governor must be "good, competent and honest".
The finance minister was responsible for selecting the central bank governor from two shortlisted candidates before proposing his selection to the cabinet for approval. There were initially six candidates.
The appointment also needs royal endorsement.
Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the appointment.
(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty Editing by Ed Davies and Martin Petty)
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