Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer has decided to become a candidate for head of the International Monetary Fund, Channel 2 News reported on Saturday.

The report said Fischer's name was in the final list of candidates for the job vacated by Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned after his arrest on May 14 on charges of attempting to rape a New York hotel maid.

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The Bank of Israel confirmed that Fischer has indeed submitted a request, Channel 10 News reported.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz welcomed the news. "On the one hand, we would love to see Stanley Fisher continue in the important role the Bank of Israel governor, but on the other hand, there is no doubt that the prestigious candidacy is a tribute to the State of Israel and its economy." Steinitz said.

Last month,  Fischer refused to rule out accepting the position of IMF  managing director should he be elected after the close of nominations.

Speaking at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s 41st annual board of governors meeting, Fischer said, “All of the press has been very nice compared to what is usually in the Israeli press, but when I was job hunting at MIT, the professors there taught: ‘Don’t accept a nomination you haven’t been offered yet.’” Zambian-born Fischer, 67, a former deputy head of the IMF, added, “I will say this: I really love this job [as Bank of Israel governor]. We’ll see what happens.”

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde remains the most likely nominee for the position, while Fischer, while widely-respected, is considered to be a long shot candidate.

Fischer also addressed GDP forecasts for 2011 and 2012, saying that predictions could be updated as early as the end of next week.

“Our forecast for 2011 was 4.5 percent growth, but it’s bound to be higher,” he said. “We will probably adjust the 2012 forecast as well. The OECD just raised its 2011 forecast for Israel to 5.4% growth, [but] we think that may be a bit high.”

Nadav Shemer contributed to this report.