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Scared Investors Want Proof Naira Will Float for Real on Window

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Naira
  • Scared Investors Want Proof Naira Will Float for Real on Window

Nigeria’s latest attempt to ease the dollar shortage choking its economy is dependent on traders trusting the central bank.

The monetary authority opened a foreign-exchange window for investors and exporters Monday where the naira trades between the interbank rate and the black-market rate, which many Nigerians use to access dollars. In the weeks before the opening, Governor Godwin Emefiele told senior bankers that he would tolerate a weaker naira and allow the market to determine the rate within the new window, according to a person who attended the meetings.

While the initial market reaction showed investors are optimistic the platform will be successful in bringing hard currency into Nigeria — bank stocks rose and naira forward contracts priced in a weaker currency — policy makers still must demonstrate that they’ll allow free trading. Investors have been disappointed before.

Last June, the central bank ended a 16-month currency-peg and promised to float the naira, but it has traded near 315 per dollar since August. That’s about 25 percent stronger than its black-market price of 390.

“If this is going to be market-determined, that would be a great positive,” said Razia Khan, the chief Africa economist at Standard Chartered Plc in London. “Given the false start we had in June last year, there’ll be a certain amount of caution initially.”

Standard Bank Group Ltd. analysts expect an initial “sharp but unsustainable” decline in the naira as investors and companies try to clear their unmet demand for dollars of about $4 billion. If that happens, the central bank may start manipulating the rate again, which would discourage inflows.

“What is on paper may not actually be what is practiced,” Standard Bank’s Lagos-based Ayomide Mejabi and Phumelele Mbiyo in Johannesburg said in a note Monday.

What’s Happened?

Unlike Egypt, which floated its pound in November when it was also desperate for hard currency, Nigeria’s central bank has introduced multiple exchange rates and sold forward contracts to meet demand for dollars. But those measures haven’t diminished the need for a black market to buy the greenback.

The central bank says the separate window will help “deepen the foreign exchange market and accommodate all foreign-exchange obligations.” Those allowed to sell dollars include include portfolio investors, exporters, banks and the regulator itself. Though trades are meant to be done on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis, the central bank says it can intervene.

The FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, a Lagos-based trading platform, will publish daily rates based on a poll of banks, with Monday’s closing rate set at 377.1 per dollar.

Why Did the Central Bank do This?

Nigeria has suffered from a dearth of foreign exchange since the price of oil, its main export, plunged in 2014. The central bank’s imposition of capital controls and a currency peg only worsened the crisis, according to investors, who have pulled money out of the country in the past two years. The government and central bank need them back to revive the economy, which shrank last year for the first time since 1991.

“There was acknowledgment from policy makers that greater flexibility in the FX regime was needed and that the existing system was hurting growth,” Khan said.

Will it Work?

Traders would prefer Emefiele to free the existing interbank market rather than create a separate exchange rate. But JPMorgan Asset Management says investors may be enticed into the market if they’re confident there’s enough liquidity for them to exit.

“It’s early days to gauge how effective the new window will be,” Diana Kiluta, an emerging markets debt portfolio manager at JPMorgan Asset Management in London, said in an emailed response to questions. “If indeed foreign investor flows can consistently clear in the window and there is some transparency around price determination, this could begin to restore some confidence.”

What are the Dangers?

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Emefiele have consistently criticized those calling for a weaker naira, saying it would only accelerate inflation already at 17 percent and hurt the poor. That’s fueling investor skepticism that the central bank will allow a true float within the window.

Another danger is that it’s unclear whether oil companies, which generate the bulk of Nigeria’s export earnings, will be able to sell dollars in the window. Without them, the central bank may be left as the main supplier until foreign investors return.

“There are a number of things that need clarification,” Khan said.

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.

Naira

Daily Naira Exchange Rates; Friday, March 5, 2021

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Naira Exchange Rates; Friday, March 5, 2021

Naira remained pressured across key foreign exchange markets on Friday, March 5, 2021 as scarcity persists. The local currency traded at N480 to a United States Dollar at the parallel market on Friday morning while it exchanged at N675 to a British Pound and N582 to the European common currency.

Daily Naira Black Market Exchange Rates

Morning * Midday** Evening *** Final Rates

Date USD GBP EURO YUAN Canadian Australian
NGN BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL
05/03/2021 475/480 670/675 575/582 60/68 385/395 382/300
04/03/2021 475/480 665/672 574/580 60/68 385/395 382/300
03/03/2021 475/480 662/672 574/580 60/68 385/395 382/300
02/03/2021 475/480 662/672 574/580 60/68 385/395 382/300
01/03/2021 475/482 662/672 575/583 60/68 385/395 382/300
26/02/2021 475/482 660/672 575/583 60/68 385/395 382/300
25/02/2021 475/480 660/670 572/580 60/68 385/395 282/300
24/02/2021 475/480 655/670 570/580 60/68 385/395 282/300
23/02/2021 475/480 655/665 575/582 60/68 385/395 282/300
22/02/2021 475/480 652/660 575/580 60/68 385/395 282/300
19/02/2021 474/478 648/655 570/577 60/68 385/395 282/300
18/02/2021 472/477 645/655 570/575 60/68 385/395 282/300
17/02/2021 472/478 645/655 570/575 60/68 385/395 282/300
16/02/2021 465/473 645/652 565/570 60/68 385/395 282/300
15/02/2021 465/473 642/652 562/570 60/68 385/395 282/300
12/02/2021 465/473 642/650 562/570 60/68 385/395 282/300
11/02/2021 465/475 640/650 560/570 60/70 385/400 280/300
10/02/2021 472/478 645/652 565/575 60/70 385/400 280/300
09/02/2021 474/480 645/655 567/575 60/70 385/400 280/300
08/02/2021 474/480 645/655 567/575 60/70 385/400 280/300
05/02/2021 474/480 645/653 567/578 60/70 385/400 280/300
04/02/2021 474/480 645/653 567/578 60/70 385/400 280/300
03/02/2021 474/480 642/655 575/580 60/70 385/400 280/300
02/02/2021 474/480 642/655 575/580 60/70 385/400 280/300
01/02/2021 474/480 642/655 575/580 60/70 385/400 280/300
29/01/2021 474/480 642/652 575/580 60/70 385/400 280/300

Bureau De Change Naira Rates

Date USD GBP EURO
NGN BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL
05/03/2021 470/480 662/672 570/580
04/03/2021 470/480 662/672 570/580
03/03/2021 470/480 662/670 573/580
02/03/2021 470/480 660/669 573/580
01/03/2021 470/480 660/669 574/580
26/02/2021 470/480 660/669 574/580
25/02/2021 470/480 658/665 574/580
24/02/2021 470/478 654/660 570/578
23/02/2021 470/478 654/660 570/578
22/02/2021 470/477 650/656 570/577
19/02/2021 465/476 645/656 565/573
18/02/2021 465/475 640/652 563/570
17/02/2021 465/477 640/655 562/572
16/02/2021 460/475 640/652 562/570
15/02/2021 460/475 638/652 561/568
12/02/2021 467/475 635/650 562/570
11/02/2021 465/475 640/655 560/575
10/02/2021 472/478 640/655 565/575
09/02/2021 472/478 640/655 565/575
08/02/2021 472/478 640/655 565/575
05/02/2021 472/478 640/650 565/575
04/02/2021 472/478 640/650 565/575
03/02/2021 471/478 640/650 572/580
02/02/2021 471/478 640/655 572/580
01/02/2021 471/478 640/655 572/580
29/01/2021 471/477 640/648 570/579

Central Bank of Nigeria’s Official Naira Rates

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Naira

Naira Hits Record Low of N427 Against the United States Dollar on I&E FX Window

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Nigeria 1000 notes

Naira Exchanges at N427 Against the United States Dollar on I&E FX Window

The Nigerian Naira plunged to as low as N427.45 against the United States Dollar on the Investors and Exporters Foreign Exchange Window on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

The local currency pulled back to N406.50 a US Dollar but opened lower at N412.50 on Friday morning.

Investors traded $66.99 million during the trading hours of Thursday.

At the black market section of the foreign exchange, Naira traded at N480 against the United States Dollar while the British Pound was exchanged at N673.

The Euro common currency remained unchanged at N580, the same rate it exchanged on Monday.

Despite the surge in the oil price to N67 per barrel and a series of forex policies, the Central Bank of Nigeria continues to struggle with low dollar liquidity across the board.

Nigeria’s foreign reserves declined by about $1 billion in one month as Africa’s largest economy struggles with the weak fiscal buffer necessary to mitigate COVID-19 impacts and deepen productivity.

It would be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria adjusted its diaspora foreign remittance policy to curb rising foreign exchange rates and put an end to black market transactions hurting the nation’s local currency value.

However, since the new policy was enacted in November 2020, forex scarcity remained pervasive with diaspora remittance inflow expected to decline by $2 billion in 2020.

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Naira

Daily Naira Exchange Rates; Thursday, March 4, 2021

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interbank

Naira Exchange Rates; Thursday, March 4, 2021

Naira exchanged lower against global counterparts on Thursday morning as scarcity persists across forex segments. Naira traded at N480 to United States Dollar on the black market while to a British Pound it sold for N672 as shown below.

Daily Naira Black Market Exchange Rates

Morning * Midday** Evening *** Final Rates

Date USD GBP EURO YUAN Canadian Australian
NGN BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL
04/03/2021 475/480 665/672 574/580 60/68 385/395 382/300
03/03/2021 475/480 662/672 574/580 60/68 385/395 382/300
02/03/2021 475/480 662/672 574/580 60/68 385/395 382/300
01/03/2021 475/482 662/672 575/583 60/68 385/395 382/300
26/02/2021 475/482 660/672 575/583 60/68 385/395 382/300
25/02/2021 475/480 660/670 572/580 60/68 385/395 282/300
24/02/2021 475/480 655/670 570/580 60/68 385/395 282/300
23/02/2021 475/480 655/665 575/582 60/68 385/395 282/300
22/02/2021 475/480 652/660 575/580 60/68 385/395 282/300
19/02/2021 474/478 648/655 570/577 60/68 385/395 282/300
18/02/2021 472/477 645/655 570/575 60/68 385/395 282/300
17/02/2021 472/478 645/655 570/575 60/68 385/395 282/300
16/02/2021 465/473 645/652 565/570 60/68 385/395 282/300
15/02/2021 465/473 642/652 562/570 60/68 385/395 282/300
12/02/2021 465/473 642/650 562/570 60/68 385/395 282/300
11/02/2021 465/475 640/650 560/570 60/70 385/400 280/300
10/02/2021 472/478 645/652 565/575 60/70 385/400 280/300
09/02/2021 474/480 645/655 567/575 60/70 385/400 280/300
08/02/2021 474/480 645/655 567/575 60/70 385/400 280/300
05/02/2021 474/480 645/653 567/578 60/70 385/400 280/300
04/02/2021 474/480 645/653 567/578 60/70 385/400 280/300
03/02/2021 474/480 642/655 575/580 60/70 385/400 280/300
02/02/2021 474/480 642/655 575/580 60/70 385/400 280/300
01/02/2021 474/480 642/655 575/580 60/70 385/400 280/300
29/01/2021 474/480 642/652 575/580 60/70 385/400 280/300

Bureau De Change Naira Rates

Date USD GBP EURO
NGN BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL
04/03/2021 470/480 662/672 570/580
03/03/2021 470/480 662/670 573/580
02/03/2021 470/480 660/669 573/580
01/03/2021 470/480 660/669 574/580
26/02/2021 470/480 660/669 574/580
25/02/2021 470/480 658/665 574/580
24/02/2021 470/478 654/660 570/578
23/02/2021 470/478 654/660 570/578
22/02/2021 470/477 650/656 570/577
19/02/2021 465/476 645/656 565/573
18/02/2021 465/475 640/652 563/570
17/02/2021 465/477 640/655 562/572
16/02/2021 460/475 640/652 562/570
15/02/2021 460/475 638/652 561/568
12/02/2021 467/475 635/650 562/570
11/02/2021 465/475 640/655 560/575
10/02/2021 472/478 640/655 565/575
09/02/2021 472/478 640/655 565/575
08/02/2021 472/478 640/655 565/575
05/02/2021 472/478 640/650 565/575
04/02/2021 472/478 640/650 565/575
03/02/2021 471/478 640/650 572/580
02/02/2021 471/478 640/655 572/580
01/02/2021 471/478 640/655 572/580
29/01/2021 471/477 640/648 570/579

Central Bank of Nigeria’s Official Naira Rates

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