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Japan Signals Readiness to Stem Yen Gains

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Haruhiko Kuroda

Japan’s chief cabinet secretary has signaled Tokyo’s readiness to intervene in the market if the yen spikes out of line with fundamentals and defended the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy.

Yoshihide Suga, one of premier Shinzo Abe’s closest aides, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday the government will respond “appropriately” to unwelcome yen gains that hurt growth.

He also stressed the need to respect the BOJ’s independence from political interference, a sign the government will not get in the way if the bank opts to deepen negative rates to stimulate the economy.

Suga’s comments come as Japan struggles to get on a solid growth track. Its economy ground to a halt in April-June and analysts expect any rebound in the current quarter to be modest, as weak global growth and the yen’s 20 percent rise against the dollar this year have hurt exports and capital spending.

He said yen moves were a key debate topic at a regular meeting he created that gathers senior officials from the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Services Agency and the BOJ.

“Through the meetings, the government will closely watch market moves and respond appropriately,” the top government spokesman said, when asked whether Tokyo could intervene in the market if the yen spikes abruptly.

In a prepared speech later at a Reuters newsmaker event, Suga stressed the government’s resolve to respond “decisively” to excessive market moves.

The comments suggest Tokyo is not letting its guard down against the risk of a renewed yen spike, even as recent hawkish messages from U.S. Federal Reserve officials push up the dollar to around 102 yen, off lows below 100 hit this month.

POLICY COORDINATION INTACT

Japanese officials have repeatedly threatened currency intervention to deal with their headache of a strong yen. But they have held off for fear of infuriating Washington, which has warned against intervention that could be seen as seeking to give Japanese companies an unfair competitive advantage.

The BOJ’s decision in January to adopt negative interest rates has failed to arrest yen gains and drawn market criticism for hurting financial institutions’ profits.

Under pressure from Abe’s administration, the BOJ eased last month by expanding purchases of exchange-traded funds (ETF). A majority of economists expect the bank to act again next month.

Asked if the BOJ had room to cut rates further, Suga said negative rates and any other steps the BOJ takes would give financial institutions “huge” benefits if they boost the economy.

On whether Japan could resort to “helicopter money”, or direct central bank underwriting of government debt, Suga said there was no clear definition of what helicopter meant.

He added it was important for the government and the BOJ to work closely together to beat deflation.

“The BOJ will conduct a review of its policies to achieve its 2 percent target. In any case, it’s important not to impair fiscal policy and the BOJ’s independence,” he said.

In a case of coordination last month, the government announced a spending package shortly after the BOJ eased policy, Suga said.

“I’m confident that we will see results if the government and the BOJ coordinate policies,” he said.

Data released on Tuesday showed household spending remained stubbornly weak in July even as the jobless rate hit a 21-year low.

(Additional reporting by Mayu Yoshida, William Mallard and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Naira

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

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New Naira Notes

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.

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Naira

President Buhari Unveils New Redesigned Naira Notes, See Pictures

Buhari launched the new naira notes as the CBN forges ahead with redesign plans.

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New Naira Notes

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.

New Naira 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.”

New Naira notes

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.

 

New Naira notes

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Naira

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.

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President Buhari - Investors King

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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