Central Bank chief takes over as Maldivian finance minister

July 15, 2008 (LBO) – Maldivian government Tuesday appointed the central bank chief Abdullah Jihad as the new minister of finance, the atoll’s information minister said.

Until his appointment, Mausoom was the head of the country’s tourism promotion board.

Shougee has now been appointed as the Vice Chancellor of the state-run university to be set up in the Maldives.

Home to 369,000 Sunni Muslims, the Maldives has a successful tourism industry which accounts for a third of its one-billion-dollar economy. Jihad, takes over from Qasim Ibrahim, who stepped down last week, minister Mohamed Nasheed said by telephone from the island capital of Male.

Ibrahim, a self made resorts to airlines millionaire businessman, did not say why he quit.

But local media reported that he is tipped to join an opposition political party and contest the island’s first multi-party presidential poll next month.

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Asia’s longest serving ruler since 1978, appointed former junior finance minister Arif Hilmy, as the central bank chief.

The Indian Ocean archipelago has been hit by galloping global crude oil and commodity prices in the past f