Economist withdraws Bank of Israel candidacy

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JERUSALEM (AP) — One of Israel's top economists says he's withdrawing his candidacy as head of the central bank over an old shoplifting case.

The incident happened in a Hong Kong airport seven years ago. Jacob Frenkel told Israeli media Monday he mistakenly thought his companion paid for an item he was carrying.

A committee reviewing his appointment raised questions about the incident, and Frenkel decided to withdraw his candidacy. Frenkel didn't report the incident to the committee.

It was meant to be the second time that 70-year-old Frenkel headed the Bank of Israel.

Frenkel was governor from 1991 to 2000. He won praise for reducing inflation, liberalizing markets and integrating Israel's economy into the global financial system.

He has since worked in finance, including as chairman of JPMorgan Chase International.

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