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Naira Drops to 493 as Dollar Demand Rises

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500 and 1000 naira bills (Nigerian currency)
  • Naira Drops to 493 as Dollar Demand Rises

The naira fell further against the United States dollar at the parallel market on Friday to 493, from 490 on Thursday as increased dollar demand weighed on the market.

Forex traders said the local unit plummeted following an increased demand for the dollar and other hard currencies by parents seeking to pay school fees of wards studying overseas.

The naira had closed flat against the dollar at the official interbank window and at the parallel foreign exchange market last Tuesday, the first official trading day of the year.

It closed at 305 to a dollar at the official window, the same rate it closed on the last working day of 2016, while the local currency closed at 490/dollar on the black market.

The naira had similarly closed at 490/dollar on Friday, the last official trading day of 2016.

“In the week ahead, we expect pressure on the naira to linger, especially at the parallel market, as unmet demand from the official market continues to stoke imbalances,” United Capital had said in a research note to clients on Tuesday.

The local currency also closed flat at 490/dollar last Wednesday and Thursday at the parallel market, before recording loss on Friday.

Economic and financial experts have expressed divergent views over the outlook of the naira this year.

The naira beat analysts’ expectation and closed the year 2016 at 490 against the dollar at the parallel market.

Due to the persistent pressure on the naira, currency and financial analysts had predicted that the local currency would hit 500/dollar on or before the new year.

The naira has been under severe and continuous pressure as the scarcity of the US currency continues to create ripples in the financial markets and economy.

The CBN had about two weeks ago sold about $1bn on the forward market to clear a backlog of dollar obligations in selected sectors.

Traders said the CBN told banks to prioritise airlines, manufacturing firms, petroleum products importers and agriculture, the sectors worst hit by the dollar shortage, in the auction.

The CBN has struggled to support the naira as the country’s external reserves continue to fall.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

CBN Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 11.5 Percent

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Godwin Emefile

CBN Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged at 11.5 Percent

The Central Bank of Nigeria led Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left the interest rate unchanged at 11.5 percent to aid economic recovery from recession.

The MPC lowered the interest rate by 100 basis points to 11.5 percent in the third quarter to boost capital inflow to the real sector of the economy and halt the continued plunge in economic productivity.

The members voted unanimously to leave the rate unchanged because of the poor macroeconomic factors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation and lockdown.

Asymmetric Corridor was also retained at +100/-700 basis points while Cash Reserve Ration (CRR) stood at 27.5 percent. The liquidity Ratio was left at 30 percent, according to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

Emefiele disclosed this on Tuesday after two days of meeting. He added that the global economic outlook has started showing improvements.

The retention comes as no surprise to experts given the escalating inflation rate, weak economic productivity and the present economic recession.

Obadiah Mailafia, a former deputy governor, CBN said “I do not see them shifting ground on those key areas. It would be counter-intuitive to reduce the MPR in a time of rising inflation.

The government is facing what is increasingly looking like a fiscal crisis, as government revenues continue to fall while a sizeable portion of government funds are going into debt-servicing,” Mailafia stated, noting that “More than 400 federal agencies have been unable to pay salaries to public sector workers for several months a in a row. Nigeria’s economic challenges are compounded by the geopolitical challenges of banditry, violence and terrorism.”

“As expected, I did not see them shifting ground on those key areas. It would be counter-intuitive to reduce the MPR in a time of rising inflation.

“I, therefore, suspected they would want to leave things as they are in order to weather the current storm, in the hope that things will begin to improve by Q2.

“A stable and consistent monetary policy stance can help stabilize the economic outlook while helping actors to anchor long-term rational expectations,” the former CBN stressed.

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Banking Sector

Deposit Money Banks Pay N2.7 Billion as Customers Complaints Rise by 34%

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Deposit Money Banks Pay N2.7 Billion as Customers Complaints Rise by 34%

Nigeria’s Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) refunded banks’ customers N2.67 billion in the first half of 2020, according to the latest findings.

This represents a 63 percent decline when compared to the N7.2 billion refunded in the same period of 2019.

A breakdown shows “Bank received 2,051 complaints from consumers of financial services providers in the first half of 2020, compared with 1,528 complaints in the corresponding period of 2019. Of the total 1,167 or 56.9 percent were complaints on electronic/card, while 125 or 6.1 percent were on excess charges. Other complaints were, mainly, on frauds, dishonoured guarantees and unauthorised deductions/transfers, among others.

“A total of 1,519 complaints, including those outstanding from 2019, were resolved in the review period, compared with 1,548 in the corresponding period of 2019. Total claims in the review period in local currency and foreign currencies amounted to N4.58 billion and $151,647.82, compared with N8.70 billion and $315,475.54, respectively, in the corresponding period of 2019.

“Relief was brought to many of the affected customers as the sums of N2.67 billion and $144,176.68 were refunded in the first half of 2020, compared with the N7.20 billion and $315,229.02, refunded in the corresponding period of 2019.”

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Banking Sector

Ecobank Nigeria Received N50 billion 10-Year Bilateral Subordinated Loan

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ecobank

Ecobank Nigeria Received N50 billion 10-Year Bilateral Subordinated Loan

Ecobank Nigeria announced it has received N50 billion 10-year subordinated Loan.

Adenike Laoye, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Ecobank Nigeria, disclosed this in a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The statement read in part, “The bilateral funding provides stable medium-term liquidity to the balance sheet of Ecobank Nigeria and positively improved its balance sheet ratios, especially the capital adequacy ratio by circa 300 basis points.

The transaction proceeds would be deployed to support Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (“MSMEs”) and Small Corporates.

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