The yuan sank to a five-year low after China’s central bank set the currency’s reference rate at an unexpectedly weak level, a sign that policy makers are becoming more tolerant of depreciation as intervention costs rise and economic growth slows.
The People’s Bank of China cut its daily fixing to the lowest level since April 2011, weaker than Tuesday’s onshore closing level. The currency tumbled 1.1 percent in Hong Kong’s freely traded market — the most since the day after a surprise devaluation in August — and lost 0.6 percent in Shanghai as both exchange rates slumped to their weakest levels since at least March 2011. The gap between the two widened to a record.
While China’s defense of the yuan stabilized the currency for almost four months following the Aug. 11 devaluation, intervention led to the first-ever annual decline in the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves. Official support has been more sporadic since the start of December as the weakest economic expansion in a quarter century and rising U.S. interest rates fueled capital outflows. Analysts at Macquarie Bank Ltd. and Mizuho Bank Ltd. said the PBOC’s exchange-rate policy is becoming harder to gauge.
“The market will be confused by what Beijing is trying to signal with the recent market intervention and today’s fixing,” said Nizam Idris, head of foreign-exchange and fixed-income strategy at Macquarie Bank in Singapore.
The central bank intervened in the currency market on Tuesday to prevent excessive volatility, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. A few major Chinese banks sold U.S. currency when the onshore yuan dropped to around 6.5460 per dollar on Wednesday, but the offerings weren’t stable or constant, according to traders who asked not to be named.
The offshore yuan dropped beyond 6.70 per dollar for the first time since September 2010, about two months after trading was first permitted in Hong Kong, while the onshore rate was 6.5560 as of 5:05 p.m. in Shanghai. The Hong Kong rate’s discount to the domestic level widened to a record 2.5 percent, after spreads of up to 1.8 percent triggered suspected PBOC intervention in the offshore market last week.
The central bank’s August devaluation, which sparked a rout in emerging-market currencies and stocks, was accompanied by a revamp of its methodology for setting the yuan’s daily fixing to give market forces greater sway. While allowing depreciation may help the Chinese economy, it risks spooking global markets, according to Japan’s Resona Bank Ltd.
CBN Will Redesign Naira Notes Every Five to Eight Years; Say Emefiele
The central bank will henceforth redesign the nation’s legal tender every five to eight years
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said the bank will henceforth redesign the nation’s legal tender every five to eight years.
The apex bank governor revealed at the unveiling of the new naira notes on Tuesday.
Godwin Emefiele explained that the naira redesign is in line with global best practice noting that the naira needed to be redesigned and re-issued every five to eight years.
According to the CBN governor, previous administrations lacked the political will to approve the redesign of the naira notes. Stating that it is regrettable that the naira has not been redesigned for the past 19 years.
“In the past, I have to confess that attempts by the CBN to redesign and re-issue the naira notes have been resisted. It is only President Muhammadu Buhari that has exhibited the courage to do so,” the CBN governor stated.
Emefiele added that going forward, naira notes will be redesigned at intervals to address some peculiar issues.
“After today, the CBN will begin to redesign and reissue the naira every five to eight years,” he said.
Investors King had earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the redesigned naira notes at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting today.
Among those who joined the president with the unveiling include the CBN governor and the EFCC chairman.
Recall, in October, the CBN announced it will redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes in line with its mandate.
Meanwhile, the CBN governor has disclosed that the new naira notes can not be counterfeited because of the features embedded in them.
Similarly, he added that security agencies would be monitoring people making withdrawals at the counter to sniff out money laundering and unravel illegal usage.
“The CBN has moved to a cashless economy. We will restrain the volume of cash someone will withdraw over the counter. We will follow up with the person’s data to know the reason for such withdrawal,” he concluded.
President Buhari Unveils New Redesigned Naira Notes, See Pictures
Buhari launched the new naira notes as the CBN forges ahead with redesign plans.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday unveiled the new redesigned Naira notes at the State House in Abuja following a series of sensitisation to ensure that Nigerians are aware of the deadline for the old notes.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who was also present at the launching explained that the redesigned notes would help curb counterfeit, reduce hoarding and support the apex bank’s cashless policy.
Earlier in October, the central bank announced it was redesigning the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes in line with its mandate. The apex bank further stated that the newly redesigned notes would be available on December 15, 2022.
However, Emefiele later announced the central bank won’t wait until December 15th before unveiling the new notes on November 2023.
He said, “100 days is enough for any person from any part of Nigeria to deposit his money in the bank and get his money when the new notes are released.
“For information, indeed, we are no longer waiting till December 15th to unveil and begin to release the new notes.
“By the special grace of God, tomorrow, which is the 23rd of November 2022, the President has graciously accepted to unveil the new currencies and the new currencies will be unveiled tomorrow at the Federal Executive Chamber by 10am.”
Meanwhile, the central bank-led monetary policy committee raised interest rates by another 100 basis points from 15.5% to 16.5%. Bringing the total increase in 2022 to 500 basis points despite the challenges Nigerians are facing amid weak job creation and poor earnings.
The committee claimed the decision was based on the rising inflation rate that rose to 21.09% in October. However, given Nigeria’s economic structure and current situation, the persistent increase was mainly to lure foreign investors to invest in the economy against the developed economies that are equally raising rates to curb escalating inflation.
President Buhari to Launch New Naira Notes Today
CBN says Buhari is expected to introduce redesigned naira notes to the public today at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is expected to launch the redesigned naira notes today at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
The launch will precede the circulation of the affected currency which is billed for December 15, 2022. The FEC meeting is a weekly (Wednesday) meeting of the executive arm of government often presided over by the President or the Vice President.
The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed on the sidelines of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday, that the new naira notes will be displayed for public view on Wednesday.
Therefore, the governor added that the CBN will not shift its deadline for all old notes to be returned to commercial banks in exchange for newly designed ones.
Investors King recalls that in October 2022, the central bank announced it will issue redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, effective December 15, 2022, while the new and existing currencies will remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023.
However, in a sudden change of schedule, the CBN governor noted that the unveiling will be done by the president today stating that the bank will no longer wait till December 15th to unveil and begin to release the new notes.
” By the special grace of God, tomorrow, (today) which is the 23rd of November 2022, the President has graciously accepted to unveil the new currencies and the new currencies will be unveiled tomorrow at the Federal Executive Chamber by 10am.” Emefiele started.
Meanwhile, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which is the highest decision-making body for any issues related to Nigerian monetary policy has hiked the interest rates from 15.5 percent to 16.5 percent.
According to CBN, the hike in interest rate is to curtain inflation and maintain economic stability.
Speaking at the end of a two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting yesterday, the CBN governor noted that the MPC voted to retain the cash reserve ratio at 32.5 percent and the liquidity ratio at 30 percent.
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