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Olli Rehn strong candidate for IMF top job

The Bank of Finland's Governor is reportedly on the shortlist, while other sources say Alexander Stubb is in the frame.

Olli Rehn, the Governor of the Bank of Finland, is being named as a candidate to replace Christine Lagarde as CEO of the IMF. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

The shortlist of nominees for the International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) next CEO has been narrowed down to four names, with the Bank of Finland's current Governor, Olli Rehn, among the top candidates, according to the New York based financial newspaper the Wall Street Journal.

The other shortlisted candidates are the former Dutch Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem, current President of the Eurogroup and Portuguese Minister of Finance Mario Centeno, and the current Spanish Minister of Economy and Business Nadia Calvino.

The London based Financial Times, however, reports that former Finnish Prime Minister and current vice president of the European Investment Bank, Alexander Stubb, is on the shortlist of candidates, probably instead of Dijesselbloem.

The paper also reports that a previous favourite to land the top job at the IMF, current Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, is now no longer being considered for the position.

The IMF's current CEO, Christine Lagarde, will relinquish the role to take over as President of the European Central Bank.

The shortlist of candidates will be discussed at a meeting of European G7 finance ministers in Chantilly, France.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Rehn's candidacy is likely to receive more support from northern European countries, including Germany, while Centeno and Calvino are more popular in the south.

Dutch Minister Dijsselbloem's suitability for the role has been questioned by southern European countries, after he refused to apologise for comments he made during the Eurozone crisis which suggested that crisis-hit countries had splurged their money on "drinks and women."