Key 'unlikely' to head IMF, amid speculation

Key 'unlikely' to head IMF, amid speculation

Outgoing Prime Minister John Key has seemingly poured cold water on speculation he's off to head up the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Overseas media outlets have reported Mr Key could take up the role with current head Christine Lagarde ordered to stand trial in France.

The reports seem based purely on speculation, and Mr Key said him being named as a potential successor was "flattering".

"But as I made clear on Monday, that's very unlikely that's the sort of role I'd like to take. It's not that it's not a tremendously sought-after position but I'm not looking for a full time job."

Quizzed on not absolutely ruling out the possibility, Mr Key said his answer "pretty much is".

Outgoing US President Barack Obama will have the ultimate sign-off on the role - Mr Key is set to speak to him later on Wednesday.

However, he says it will be more of a farewell conversation than anything else.

He'd already spoken to a number of other world leaders since his resignation on Monday, including India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He is set to speak with the Queen on Thursday.

He says those conversations have "reiterated that we have strong relationships".