Jordan appoints new finance minister in surprise move

Omar Malhas on the right.

Jordan named investment banker Omar Malhas as finance minister on Monday, replacing veteran policy maker Umayya Toukan. This comes just days after the government began talks on a new IMF aid program.

No specific reason was given for dismissing Umayya Toukan, who had held several senior posts in finance over the last decade.

Malhas, though widely respected as an investment banker in the Gulf and Jordan, has never previously held a government position.