The race has been one of the most hotly contested in IMF history.
The new managing director would be announced by June 30, the IMF said in a statement.
The emerging economies have called for an end to Europe's grip on the top job at IMF.
French finance minister Christine is backed by the European Union and hopes for the support of the US and China.
Traditionally, the IMF chief has been an European and the World Bank head an American.
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde leads the race even as consensus remains elusive.
FM Yoshihiko Noda has only said a new IMF chief should be selected through an open, merit-based process.
The former IMF chief quit after being charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid.
Christine Lagarde had secured the unanimous backing of the 27-nation European Union.
The IMF has been run by a European since it was created at the end of World War Two.
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