Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer will become a candidate to head the International Monetary Fund, Israeli media reported Saturday evening.

The Finance Ministry confirmed that Fischer has indeed submitted a request, Channel 10 news reported. Nominations for the top job closed Saturday morning.

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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, which was vacated after the resignation of her compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn two weeks ago to concentrate on battling sexualassault charges in New York.

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.

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