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Polish Central Banker Gilowska Resigns From Rate-Setting Council

Zyta Gilowska quit the Polish central bank’s Monetary Policy Council, giving a chance for President Bronislaw Komorowski to replace her with someone more likely to support lower rates.

Gilowska announced her resignation without explanation in a statement posted today on the website of the president, who accepted her decision and has three months to appoint a successor. Gilowska didn’t answer calls to her mobile phone.

The Narodowy Bank Polski’s 10-person Monetary Policy Council, led by Governor Marek Belka, has kept its benchmark rate at a record-low 2.5 percent since July. Gilowska voted for one of eight rate cuts since November, according to the central bank’s website. She missed the first two meetings this year.

“She was a key and consistent hawk and will likely be replaced by the biggest uber-dove,” Peter Attard Montalto, a London-based emerging-markets economist at Nomura International Plc said by e-mail today. While her replacement wouldn’t be able to push through another rate cut, this “means getting a hike next year will be a little bit more difficult.”

The zloty was little changed at 4.2035 per euro at 7:07 p.m. in Warsaw. The yield on the government’s five-year zloty bonds rose 1 basis point to 3.82 percent.

The central bank left rates unchanged this week and repeated in its post-meeting statement that borrowing costs are unlikely to change until at least the end of the year.

Health Issues

Gilowska, who served as finance minister in 2005 and 2006, has been plagued by health problems. She told the Super Express newspaper in 2009 that she’d been suffering from a “congenital heart defect” and underwent aortic valve surgery in 2004. She missed three meetings from July through October last year because of a medical procedure.

Gilowska was one of three council members appointed by late President Lech Kaczynski in February 2010, along with Andrzej Kazmierczak and Adam Glapinski. The president also appoints the central bank’s governor, while the remaining six members of the council are chosen by the parliament.

President Komorowski will “spare no time” in appointing Gilowska’s replacement, Olgierd Dziekonski, an official in his office, said in a phone interview today.

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