IMF board refusal boost for Lagarde's bid

The International Monetary Fund's board has blocked Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer from the race for the top IMF job, further boosting the chances of French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.

IMF rules stipulate an age limit of 65 for an incoming managing director. In a surprise move, the24-member board rejected a rule change that would have allowed Mr Fischer, 67, to run.

Changing the rule would have required a reopening of the selection process to allow other older candidates to participate, officials said. The IMF later confirmed it had shortlisted Ms Lagarde and Mexico's central bank chief Agustin Carstens and would consider their nominations. The executive board will meet the candidates in Washington and plans to complete the selection by the end of June.