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Surplus Dollars Hit Nigeria Market – NAN

The surplus supply of dollars has again jolted speculators and caused a further increase in value of the Naira.

The foreign exchange market closed on Friday without selling off all the foreign currency released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Fresh 100 million dollars was released at the interbank market to meet customers’ demands, but the dealers were only able to pick about 81.35 million dollars, leaving surplus.

Mr Isaac Okorafor, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, attributed the inability of authorised dealers to pick up the entire offer of the CBN to increasing dollar supply.

In a statement, he said another reason was the current sense of apprehension among dealers who anticipate a further crash in the rate of the dollar.

He reiterated the determination of the Bank to sustain its current interventions in the market.

“Those who doubt the capacity of the Bank to sustain the intervention in the FOREX market are beginning to have a change of mind,” he said.

The Naira has continued to sustain its ride against major currencies, especially the United States dollar, since CBN consistently pumped in more dollars.

The dollar exchanged at about N380 in Abuja, and N385 to N390 in Lagos.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the Naira was sold at N399 to the dollar, while the pound sterling and the Euro were sold at N500 and N400.

The Nigerian currency appreciated at the interbank market, closing at N307 to the dollar.

Traders believe that the continued intervention by the CBN have triggered further apprehension among speculators, who anticipate further losses given the continued crash of the dollar.

Some BDCs in Abuja stopped selling dollar due to the current price in order to curtail further losses, but they were opened to customers willing to sell at N370 to a dollar.

An Abuja-based BDC operator, said besides the dollar sales by the CBN, steady supply have been coming in from individuals who had once hoarded the currency for whatever purpose.

The President of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said that appreciation of the Naira, especially in Abuja though good, was causing panic among BDCs.

He said this was because the CBN presently sells dollars to BDCs at N381 per dollar, and expects them to sell to the public at N399 per dollar.

Gwadabe called attention to the sharp difference between the Lagos and Abuja parallel market exchange rates.

He said the Abuja market was smaller in terms of demand, being dominated by civil servants, while Lagos has higher demand as it service most private businesses in the country.

Experts are of the opinion that the dollar may likely sell even lower than N380 during the weekend as the future looks dim for the rise of the currency.

Nigeria overnight lending rate hit 100 pct this week after dollar sales – traders – Reuters

LAGOS, March 24 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s overnight lending rate rose as high as 100 percent this week after the central bank withdrew naira liquidity to offset dollar purchases, but it fell sharply on Friday as the government disbursed budget funds through the banking system.

Overnight rates fell to 10 percent on Friday after the government passed 285 billion naira ($928 mln) for February allocations through the money market, reducing borrowing costs.

The central bank has been intervening on the official market to try to narrow the currency spread with the black market rate.

The black market rate was 520 to the dollar a month ago after the central bank devalued the exchange rate for retail customers to 375 naira to the dollar.

The bank sold $100 million in forwards on Thursday.

($1 = 307 naira) (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Larry King)

 

Nigeria’s black market naira nears central bank rate for consumers -traders – Reuters

LAGOS, March 24 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s naira firmed to 390 per dollar on the black market on Friday, up 2.6 percent from its previous session and near the central bank’s rate for consumers, traders said.

The central bank has been intervening on the official market to try to narrow the currency spread with the black market rate, which was 520 to the dollar a month ago after it devalued the naira for retail customers to 375.

On the official interbank market, the currency was quoted at 307 on Friday. February’s partial devaluation effectively created multiple exchange rates in Africa’s biggest economy. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha, editing by Larry King)

 

Naira: Senator commends CBN over bullish intervention – The Nation

A member of the National Assembly, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its effort at strengthening the Naira against the dollar.

Uzodinma, who represents Imo West Senatorial District, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the recent appreciation of the naira was commendable and should be sustained to put the economy back on track.

He called on relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, to support the CBN in taking further measures that would check the exchange rate.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria must be supported in its efforts at bringing down the foreign exchange rate and make Naira stronger.

“If trade facilitation is to be realised, if business will blossom in Nigeria, we need a strong currency and the key to any strong economy is predominantly based on the value and concept of the exchange rate.

“So, if our local currency is strong, if our purchasing power is strong, it means that our economy will be strong.

“The only way this can happen is to support the current effort of the Central Bank of Nigeria to encourage them to ensure that the exchange rate for US dollar to a naira will come up.

“Government has a responsibility to support our policy managers and economic managers in their various policies.

“Whatever has made the exchange rate as at today to be better than few weeks back, we have a responsibility and a duty as a matter of fact to support it,’’ he said.

Uzodinma, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, urged the CBN to ensure that commercial banks complied with foreign exchange guidelines, particularly on import and export.

“The guidelines as produced by the CBN are very straight and strict.

“But, what has happened over the years, why is the government revenue missing, is it because of poor monitoring?

“If the commercial banks, the importers and exporters are made to comply with the foreign exchange rate, the comprehensive import supervision scheme will be able to produce the expected result,’’ he said.

Naira Extends Gains, Moves Towards Convergence with FX Rate for Invisibles – Thisday

Obinna Chima in Lagos and Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

Currency speculators and others who had stockpiled the greenback continued to count their losses on Thursday, when the naira extended its gains on the parallel market and inched closer towards a convergence between the street price for the dollar and the rate offered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for invisible transactions.

The naira sold for between N380 and N385 in Lagos on Thursday, stronger than N399 from the previous day.

The FX rate for invisibles has remained at N375 since the CBN announced new policy measures for the FX market a month ago.

The central bank also sustained its intervention by auctioning an additional $100 million through wholesale FX forwards to banks for onward sale to their customers in all sections of the economy.

Of the $100 million offered by the CBN, $91 million was taken up by currency dealers.

Confirming this, CBN spokesman Isaac Okorafor said dealers would get value for their respective bids on Friday.

He disclosed that the highest and marginal bid rates were N330/$1 and N320/$1, respectively, adding that no intervention was made by the central bank to meet requests for invisibles on Thursday.

On the parallel market, the nation’s currency has appreciated by 27 per cent, or about N140, from N525 to a dollar a month ago.

The central bank has been intervening aggressively on the official market in recent weeks, leading to a narrowing of the gap between the official and parallel market rates.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday expressed optimism about the convergence of the rates on the official and parallel markets, stating that the gains made by the naira against the greenback in recent weeks was not a fluke.

Emefiele said he was happy that the central bank’s intervention was yielding positive results.

But THISDAY gathered on Thursday that while the central bank has succeeded in substantially clearing backlog of dollar demands for retail invisibles, it was falling short of meeting the FX demand for capital repatriation and other wholesale invisibles.

A chief executive of one of the leading banks in the country, who confirmed this in a chat, however pointed out that this could be a strategy by the CBN.

“While the CBN has done a lot in the past one month, we must not forget that there is a backlog of investors who are trying to repatriate capital that has not been settled.

“The CBN was focusing on trade transactions previously and recently on school fees, PTA/BTA. But foreigners who had invested in bonds, equities and need to repatriate dividend payments are still behind on the queue.

“I want to assume that once the central bank sorts out the retail invisibles, it would start to attend to FX demand for capital repatriation,” the bank CEO who did not want his name in print said.

The country’s external reserves, meanwhile, closed at N30.347 billion on Thursday.

‘CBN Must Not be Politicised’

Meanwhile, a professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Prof. Epiphany Azinge, has advocated the complete independence of the CBN.

This came against the backdrop of the reported call by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, for the reduction of powers of the central bank.

The minister was reported to have blamed the CBN for the disconnect between the fiscal and monetary policies of government.

Azinge, while speaking on Thursday as a guest on Arise News Network, the sister broadcast arm of THISDAY, said the call was unprecedented.

He said: “In line with global best practices, we came to the stage where it was widely agreed that the independence of the CBN was very, very important and critical for the sustenance of the monetary policies of this country and to that extent, the Act clearly stipulated that there shall be an independent body known as the CBN that will be free to discharge its functions. And that independence is very critical.”

According to him, “Firstly, the substantive law in force hinders towards the 1991 Act which we operated from many years until the coming into force of the 2007 Act, which is the extant law for now.

“What that means is that before promulgating the 2007 law, a lot went into it in terms of discussions, conversations, analysis and what have you.

“Also, we must have it at the back of our minds that it’s something that has resonated over the years. Scholars have obviously engaged in this discussion for a very long time and generally, the consensus at this point in time is that independence is very, very fundamental.”

He was of the view that the minister’s argument that the CBN needs more checks and balances holds no water, adding that it would only amount to undue interference.

“The last thing that we should be thinking of is the politisation of such a body, because the core mandate of the CBN is such that once it is subordinated to politisation, obviously everything is thrown out of the window,” he added.

Azinge explained that the issue of formulation and implementation of policies by the finance minister maybe at the realm of government and have nothing to do with the core mandate of the body charged with the responsibility of ensuring price and monetary stability, among other functions, including the issuance of legal tender.

On the checks and balances inherent in the CBN Act, Azinge said: “The composition of the board that is charged with the responsibility of supervising the CBN, as it were, is quite clear.

“There is a chairman aside the governor, we have four deputy governors, there is also the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance who is on the board.

Then there is also the Accountant General of the Federation.

“So that essentially gives the minister a seat. Whatever you want to do can be done through the instrumentality of your permanent secretary who is possibly there in a representative capacity.”

He further stated that the minister’s statement might not get the backing of legislature and expressed doubt that the National Assembly would respond to her call to reduce the powers of the CBN.

“Even at that, that will be subjected to a lot of serious debate and I don’t think that much can come out of it. Because again, the CBN governor reports to the president on some of the issues and of course, the National Assembly is there with oversight functions, so they are also in a position whereby reports can also be made available to the National Assembly.

“So, there is no complete disconnect. But to think that the Minister of Finance is in charge of finance and to that extent, the CBN should be subordinated to the whims and caprices of the minister as the case maybe, to me, is not the right idea,” he said.

He added: “When we are talking about power, we should at any point in time be thinking of the equivalent in other jurisdictions and climes. Even starting from Africa and all over the world, the modules that we are practising is fashioned along the lines of modules all over the world.

“And I believe for now, we are in line and in conformity with the best practices and to that extent, we are on the right course.”

He said though the presidency might have the best of intentions, the management of the economy, especially with respect to monetary policies, should be left to technocrats to handle.

“I believe that we have more than competent hands, in terms of technocrats to handle that. I believe that it is better to allow the technocrats to run the issue of monetary policies in this country,” he maintained

Recalling that from 1991 to 2007, monetary policies in the country experienced fits and starts, Azinge noted that from 2007, the former CBN governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, was able to re-engineer the whole process by getting the National Assembly to come to terms with the reality that Nigeria was off the mark and it needed to align with global practices.

“And from 2007 to 2017, which is about 10 years or thereabouts, I don’t think that we have missed out much in the process,” he said.

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Dollar to Naira Rate Black Market March 24 2017

Dollar to Naira Rate Black Market March 24 2017. Today’s Naira Black Market Exchange Rates. Dollar to Naira. Pounds to Naira. Euros to Naira.

These are the prevalent rates for Lagos. Actual rates may vary slightly based on vendor. Rates are updated during the day as they change.

NAIRA (N)

USD ($)

EURO (€)

GBP (£)

BUY/SELL

BUY/SELL

BUY/SELL

24/3/2017

380/390

410/430

475/490

23/3/2017

390/406

410/435

480/505

22/3/2017

405/420

430/455

500/525

21/3/2017

415/430

430/451

516/536

20/3/2017

430/442

455/471

526/546

Click Here for BDC Rates

Click Here for Western Union Money Transfer Rate

WEEKAHEAD- Nigeria’s naira to strengthen, Kenyan shilling seen stable – Reuters

NAIROBI, March 23 (Reuters) – The Kenyan shilling is expected to remain stable over the next week, with importer demand for dollars set to outweigh inflows, while Nigeria’s naira is likely to strengthen further in the black market on the back of central bank interventions.

KENYA

The Kenyan shilling is expected to remain stable or weaken slightly in the next week, mainly owing to importer demand for dollars outweighing inflows from farm exports.

At 1200 GMT commercial banks posted the shilling at 102.70/90, slightly up from last Thursday’s close of 102.95/103.05.

Market participants said there was no consensus on what policymakers are likely to do when they meet to set interest rates on March 27.

TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling is seen trading in a tight range against the dollar, helped by a slowdown in demand for the U.S. currency.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,228/2,238 to the dollar on Thursday, stronger than the 2,235/2,240 a week ago.

“The shilling will likely remain range-bound next week due to subdued business activity. Demand and supply of dollars are largely matching each other at the moment,” said a trader at a commercial bank.

NIGERIA

The Nigerian naira is expected to strengthen further in the black market in the coming days with the central bank intervening in the foreign exchange market to narrow the gap between the official and parallel market rates. The naira strengthened to 400 to the dollar on the black market on Thursday, from 457 last week. On the official interbank market the naira closed at 308 to the dollar, against 306 a week ago.

“We see the exchange rate converging at some point between 380-400 naira to the dollar in the near term because of the determination of the central bank to increase dollar supply,” said Aminu Gwadabe, head of Nigeria’s exchange bureaus.

Nigeria’s central bank plans to sell $100 million in currency forwards on Thursday to be delivered within the next 60 days.

UGANDA

The Ugandan shilling is seen weakening moderately in the days ahead, weighed down by a typical surge in appetite for hard currency from manufacturers towards month-end.

At 1126 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,590/3,600 to the dollar, the same level as last Thursday’s close.

“We could see some slight movement on the upper side (weakening) from the usual month-end demand,” said Benon Okwenje, trader at Stanbic Bank.

GHANA

Ghana’s cedi is expected to remain bullish next week, bolstered by strong forex liquidity inflows amid weakening dollar demand, analysts said.

After touching record lows of 4.742 to the dollar this month, the cedi has rallied steadily to reach 4.40 by mid-morning on Thursday, compared to 4.56 a week ago. It is down about 4 percent since January, Reuters data shows.

“We expect a sustained bullish cedi in the face of comparatively weaker demand for the greenback amidst sufficient forex supply,” said Joseph Biggles Amponsah, analyst at Accra-based Dortis Research.

“However, to extend this gain into the next quarter, the supply of dollars to the market needs to be sustained.”

ZAMBIA

The kwacha is expected to hold firm against the dollar next week because of hard currency conversions by companies preparing to pay salaries and other month-end obligations.

At 0901 GMT on Thursday commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s No.2 copper producer at 9.50 per dollar, the same as its closing level a week ago.

“The kwacha is expected to maintain a narrow trading range fluctuating between K9.4800 and K9.5800 in the near term,” Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) said in a note. (Reporting by John Ndiso, Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala, Oludare Mayowa, Elias Biryabarema, Kwasi Kpodo, Chris Mfula; Compiled by Aaron Maasho; Editing by David Goodman)

 

Nigeria plans to sell $100 mln forward at special auction – Reuters

LAGOS, March 23 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s central bank plans to sell $100 million in currency forwards on Thursday to be delivered within the next 60 days, traders say.

The bank has been injecting more dollars into the system to meet the needs of importers since February. It’s trying to boost supply in the market and narrow the margin between official and black market rate.

The local currency closed at 410 to the dollar on the black market on Wednesday, stronger than the previous 430 to the dollar. It weakened to 307.75 to the dollar on the interbank market, compared with 307.50 a dollar previously.

(Reporting by Oludare Mayowa, editing by Larry King)

 

External reserves drop for first time since December – Punch

Femi Asu

The nation’s foreign exchange reserves, which had increased significantly in recent months to hit the $30bn mark, fell for the first time this year on Tuesday.

Latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed on Wednesday that the external reserves dropped to $30.349bn on Tuesday  from $30.352bn on Monday.

The reserves, which rose 17.4 per cent from last year when they closed at $25.843bn, hit a low of $23.89bn on October 19, 2016.

The foreign exchange reserves had on December 14 dropped to $25.041bn from $25.048bn the previous day but it increased to $25.043bn the next day.

Continuing their upward trend since then, the reserves crossed the $30bn mark on March 8, 2017 when it closed at $30.014bn from $29.967bn on March 7, the CBN data showed.

Meanwhile, industry experts have described the Tuesday’s decision of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN to leave key rates including the benchmark interest rate unchanged as a step in the right direction.

The Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said, “It is in line with our expectations. They couldn’t have afforded to loosen because of the pressure that will bring on foreign exchange market. Likewise, they couldn’t have afforded to tighten because the economy is in a recession, and we have not come out of recession. So, you cannot tighten further.”

“I think what they did was the first thing they could have done given the current situation of things.”

The Director-General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, said, ‘’It is the right decision because we are not yet out of recession; so let the fiscal side do its work. The MPC decision is perfect; that was what I expected. They need fiscal and structural policies to get us out of recession.”

Dollar falls to N400 at parallel market – NAN

Following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) intervention in foreign exchange (forex), the Naira traded N400 to a dollar at the black market on Wednesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Naira has also appreciated against the Pound Sterling and Euro rate as it traded at N510 and N415 respectively.

One of the Bureau de Change operators simply known as Tijanni Jos, said that the development had caused operators to lose a lot of money.

According to him, operators did not envisage a quick downfall of the dollar which has caused them to buy at an expensive rate hoping to make returns.

The Nigerian currency also traded at N307.5 at the interbank window.

In other segments of the market, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Travelex, an International Money Transfer Services Operator, sold the Naira at N381 to a dollar.

NAN reports that Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, had on Tuesday, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, said the apex bank was determined to see the convergence of rates at the foreign exchange market.

Emefiele said that the CBN was optimistic that the rate between the official and parallel market would converge further.

He also said that the bank could sustain the policy, adding that those who doubt the ability of the bank to take decisions and implement it were taking a great risk.

He noted that the nations’ foreign reserves were trending further to 31 billion dollars.

Emefiele had also warned speculators to desist from stocking dollars at home because the CBN intervention would crash the price of dollar, which was already happening.

The CBN had in the last few weeks injected about 1. 7 billion dollars into the foreign exchange market.