CBN Offers New 12-Month Futures Contract of $1bn at N250/$
One month into the June 27, 2016 introduction of and formal unveiling of the Naira-Settled OTC FX Futures Market, the pioneer 1M contract – NGUS JUL 27 2016 $/N279, for about $26.73 million executed between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and authorised Dealers on FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, matured and was settled on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, according to this BusinessDay.
Consequently, in line with the FMDQ OTC FX Futures Market Framework,N962.23mn total Settlement Amount was paid to the ‘Futures Banks’ – the counterparties to the CBN – on the matured NGUS JUL 27 2016 at $/N279 on the maturity date, July 27, 2016.
The CBN has consequently replaced the matured July 2016 contract and has now offered a new 12M contract, NGUS Jul 19 2017, with a total notional amount on offer of $1.00bn at N250 to $1.
Analysts say this is a milestone in the history of the Nigerian FX market, with the OTC FX Futures market having reported remarkable success in its almost one month of existence with over $1.20bn worth of the CBN’s OTC FX Futures contracts across all the tenors.
The profile of the buyers of the contracts includes Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) and importers, among others, who have been trading on the FMDQ OTC FX Futures Trading and Reporting System.
In line with the OTC FX Futures Market Framework released by FMDQ and the FMDQ OTC FX Futures Market Operational Standards, the 1M contract was valued by the Exchange against the Nigerian Inter-Bank Foreign Exchange Fixing (NIFEX) spot rate, which ceased to trade on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.
Clearing operations and settlement for the final variation margins, as valued by FMDQ, were effected through the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System PLC (NIBSS), acting as the clearing and settlement infrastructure for the margining and settlement of the OTC FX Futures contracts.
Meanwhile, the hike in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), anchor rate at which the CBN lends to banks by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) may have started its positive impact, with over 4,000 percentage or $158million surge in deals at the interbank FX spot market, a day after the decision, data from the FMDQ website show.
Consequently, foreign exchange dealers traded $162.4million in 33 spot deals between Tuesday and Wednesday, compared to thin trade of $3.560million recorded the preceding Monday in six deals.
Nigeria’s currency traded at an average of N316.93/USD on Thursday, as at 2.39 PM, FMDQ data showed. At the FX interbank spot market, the local currency reached a high of N340.46/USD and a low of N283/USD yesterday. Dealers traded $23.414million on Thursday in 12 deals.
Charlie Robertson, global chief economist at Moscow-based Renaissance Capital said “Nigeria FX is closer to the market clearing rate and long-term fair value (315-320/$) on a 20 year average Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) model”.
“The key point is that Africa is back – with two of the three biggest economies (Nigeria and Egypt) now making themselves investable again, after an overly long period where FX policy deterred investors. As we progress through 2H16, it is worth re-examining Africa again,” Robertson said.
Michael Famoroti, economic research analyst at Vetiva Capital Management, in recent commentary said the move by the MPC is positive for the naira in the short-term “but note that longer-term, it is in addressing the structural defects in Nigeria’s export sectors that will ensure a viable currency market.
“We expect that following this decision, the interbank market rate could retrace closer to the N300/USD level and if the CBN’s move to redirect liquidity via banks to Bureau De Changes (BDCs) proves successful, the gap between the interbank and parallel market rate could narrow in the coming weeks,” the Vetiva analyst added.
The prices of oil, Nigeria’s biggest source of revenue steadied just above three-month lows on Thursday, as producers continued to pump more than needed, filling inventories, and economic growth prospects darkened.
Brent crude oil was down 35 cents at $43.12 a barrel by 1335 GMT, after touching $42.88, its lowest since April 20. U.S. light crude was down 15 cents at $41.77.
“Having introduced a flexible exchange rate policy, we expect the current move by the CBN to raise interest rates to positively affect the foreign exchange market as we anticipate that more foreign direct investments (FDI) will begin to flow into the country, targeting investments in Government securities which will now return higher. This should immediately improve liquidity in the FX market and reduce volatility,” said research analysts at Lagos-based Capital Bancorp Plc.
Naira-Settled OTC FX Futures contracts are essentially non-deliverable Forwards (NDF) contracts where parties agree to an exchange rate for a predetermined date in the future, without the obligation to deliver the underlying US Dollar (notional amount) on the maturity/settlement date.
Upon maturity, both parties are assumed to have transacted at the Spot FX market rate.
Since these contracts are cash- settled in Naira, there is no physical delivery of the underlying currency to the counterparties, in this case the CBN and the Authorised Dealers.
The differential between the OTC FX Futures contract rate and the NIFEX Spot rate on the settlement day determines the Settlement Amount, the gain/loss inherent in the contract; and the party that would have suffered a loss with the NIFEX Spot FX rate is paid the Settlement Amount in Naira, thus ensuring that both parties in purchasing or selling the US Dollar in the Spot FX market will achieve an effective rate equal to the NDF rate that had been guaranteed to each other via the trade in the OTC FX Futures contract.
To facilitate the operational efficiency of the Futures market, the CBN, on June 24, 2016, issued a circular on ‘Externalisation of Differentials on OTC FX Futures Contracts for FPIs’, thus providing an avenue for this category of end-users, upon presentation of an FMDQ-issued Settlement Advice and a Certificate of Capital Importation, to repatriate the Settlement Amounts of the OTC FX Futures contracts. Similarly, on July 22, 2016, the apex Bank released another circular mandating the sale of foreign currency proceeds of international money transfers by banks to the Bureaux-de-Change (BDC) operators, who will in turn sell the proceeds to retail end-users.
Thus serving to ease the demand pressure for FX in the BDC market and improving the value of the Nigerian Naira against the US Dollar.
Meabwhile in its continued efforts aimed at bringing back liquidity into the Nigerian FX market, attracting foreign investors and shoring up the contracting economy, the Central Bank revised its quotes on the OTC FX Futures market on July 27, 2016.
A month after the launch of the product, the OTC FX Futures market has witnessed significant buy-in from the market, with c. $1.33bn of contracts purchased in the first month, considerably reducing front-loading in the spot market and promoting hedging
Although the Spot FX rate depreciated 14.73 percent between June 27 (N281.49) and July 27, 2016 (N330.12) and yields on the 1-year and 3-month bills (Jul-6-2017 & Oct-20-2016) recorded 7.20 percent and 4.13 percent hikes over the same period, OTC FX Futures quotes by the CBN were adjusted to remain competitive in furtherance of the strategy to attract foreign investors into the domestic market.
Changes along the OTC FX Futures curve were asymmetric, with significant adjustment at the short-end of the curve.
NGUS APR 26 2017, previously quoted at N210.00 (the lowest priced contract), is now quoted at N260.00, reflecting a 23.81% increment in the price – the largest change across the curve.
Patrick Atuanya & IHEANYI NWACHUKWU
Investor Confidence Boosted by UBS-Credit Suisse Deal, Oil Prices Show Resilience
The deal eased investors confidence ahead of Federal Reserve meeting scheduled for tomorrow and boosted oil prices.
Global oil prices rebounded slightly in the early hours of Tuesday as concerns over banking section issues subside following UBS-Credit Suisse successful deal.
The deal eased investors confidence ahead of Federal Reserve meeting scheduled for tomorrow and boosted oil prices.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, traded rose to $73.84 per barrel while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil gained 9 cents to $67.73 a barrel. A rebound from $3 decline recorded in the previous session.
The announcement of the UBS-Credit Suisse deal was followed by major central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, indicating that they would enhance market liquidity and support other banks.
Furthermore, officials with the G7 stated that they were unlikely to revise a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil as planned. The officials said EU countries’ ambassadors were told by the European Commission over the weekend there was no pressing desire among the group for an immediate review.
Looking ahead, OPEC+, which includes the world’s top oil exporting countries and allies including Russia, is set for a meeting on April 3. The group agreed in October to cut oil production targets by 2 million barrels per day until the end of 2023.
Overall, the UBS-Credit Suisse deal and central bank support has helped ease investor concerns and stabilize oil prices. However, the upcoming OPEC+ meeting will be closely watched for any potential changes to oil production targets.
Oil Dips to 15 Months Low on Monday as Concerns Over Troubled Global Banking Sector Intensifies
Rising global uncertainty concerning the rout in the banking system following the collapse of three major global banks has plunged oil prices to 15 months low on Monday as energy traders are worried that the U.S. central bank might raise interest rates even higher this week.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 3.2% to $70.65 a barrel to settle at its lowest level since December 2021 in the early hours of Monday. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil stood at $64.59 per barrel, down by 3.2%.
The decline in global energy market on Monday was despite UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank announcing it was acquiring troubled Credit Suisse, the country’s second-largest lender for $3 billion to prevent a banking crisis from spreading into other key sectors.
“The market focus is on current banking sector volatility and the potential for further rate hikes by the Fed,” said Baden Moore, National Australia Bank’s head of commodity research.
While the US Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points on March 22, some executives are calling on the central bank to pause its monetary policy tightening for now but be ready to resume raising rates later.
The upcoming OPEC meeting is also another potential catalyst for the market outlook. “Further downside risk to prices increases the probability OPEC reduces production further to support prices,” Moore added, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs has cut its forecasts for Brent crude oil after prices plunged on banking and recession fears. The leading investment bank now expects brent oil to average $94 in the next 12 months and $97 in 2024, this is about $4 to $6 from $100 previously predicted.
Despite the uncertainty in the market, some analysts predict that prices will trend higher over the course of the year.
Oil Prices Rebound After Saudi Arabia and Russia Calm Markets and Support Measures Stabilize Banking Crisis
After a week of steep declines, oil prices rebounded on Friday thanks to a meeting between Saudi Arabia and Russia that calmed markets and support measures that stabilized a banking crisis.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian measures, rose by 1.46% to $75.79 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate oil rose 1.76% to $69.55. Both benchmarks had hit more than one-year lows earlier in the week and were on track for their biggest weekly falls since December 2021.
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and trouble at Credit Suisse and First Republic Bank had put pressure on oil and other global assets this week.
However, the commodity recovered some ground on Friday after the European Central Bank and U.S. lenders announced various measures to curtail the situation.
A meeting between oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia on Thursday also helped to calm fears. Furthermore, WTI’s fall this week to less than $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2021 could spur the U.S. government to start refilling its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which would boost demand.
Similarly, the rebound in Chinese demand for the commodity also supported the increase in price as reports shows the U.S. crude exports to China in March rose to its highest level in nearly two and a half years.
Analysts believe there is sufficient support for the oil price, with OPEC+ having to convene an extraordinary meeting.
An OPEC+ monitoring panel is due to meet on Apr. 3. Despite the rebound, conditions for volatile trading remain intact, and the oil price roller-coaster is pausing for breath but is by no means over, according to oil broker PVM’s Stephen Brennock.
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