JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's newly designated central bank chief has dropped his candidacy for the post, following a similar withdrawal of the previous candidate.

A statement from the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office Friday says economist Professor Leonardo Leiderman informed the prime minister he was abandoning the prestigious job. No reason was given.

Leiderman's appointment came after Netanyahu's previous choice for central bank chief, Jacob Frenkel, had to withdraw his nomination over an old shoplifting case. Frenkel was never charged or detained over the allegation stemming from an incident at a Hong Kong airport seven years ago.

The Argentinian-born Leiderman's withdrawal marks another blow to Netanyahu and his finance minister Yair Lapid as they seek to fill the void left by the internationally respected economist Stanley Fischer. Fischer stepped down in June.