- Dealers Pick $85.69m Out of $100m Offered by CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Friday that authorised dealers were only able to pick $85.69 million out of the $100 million it offered at Thursday’s FOREX wholesale auction in the inter-bank market.
Confirming the development last night, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, said the inability of authorised dealers to pick up the whole amount offered by the apex bank was a pointer that there was enough foreign exchange to meet legitimate forex demands within the system.
While stressing that the CBN had the capacity to sustain the current levels of liquidity in the forex market, Okorafor said the Bank was “committed and was indeed working to achieve convergence in the forex rates between the Interbank and the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment.”
Meanwhile, reports gathered in Abuja and Lagos in the course of the week indicate that the Naira sustained its momentum against major currencies, especially the United States dollar, exchanging at an average of N380 to $1.
The CBN on Thursday offered $100 million to authorised dealers to meet the requests of wholesale customers at the forex auction in the interbank wholesale window.
The CBN spokesman had stated that no intervention was made in the retail window in Thursday’s auction, but stated that the Bank continued its weekly sale of forex to the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment to meet the needs of low-end users.
He said the CBN had observed that quite a good number of dealers were adhering to the forex guidelines. Nevertheless, he said the CBN will continue to monitor the activities of authorised dealers to ensure that no outfit or individual circumvents the laid down forex rules.
He urged all concerned to put the Nigerian economy first, reiterating that the CBN was determined to guarantee the international value of the naira.
In line with assurances by CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele that the CBN would continue to intervene in the foreign exchange market, the Bank on Wednesday auctioned the sum of $185.86 million through retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).
The Bank also on Wednesday settled the 10th Over-the-Counter (OTC) foreign exchange (FX) Futures Contract valued at $965.29 million which matured on the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange. The FMDQ revealed this on its website.
Okorafor while confirming the Wednesday auction sale, disclosed that out of the auctioned amount, only $3.14million was sold as spots, while the sum of $182.72million was sold as forwards.
He further explained that the overall picture of the inter-bank forex market was that of optimism, going by the level of access now being enjoyed by different categories of customers in both the wholesale and retail segments of the market.
The CBN Governor had given a firm assurance of the imminent end of the current recession in 2017, at the end of his meeting with intervention in the forex market.
Emefiele said: “Our reserves stand at above $31bn and that provides us enough of firepower or ammunition to be able to defend the currency, and we will do so with all intensity to ensure that foreign exchange is procured by everybody.”
More Problem for CBN as Naira Approaches N500/US$ at the Black Market
Naira plunged against the United States Dollar to a record low of N495 at the black market on Thursday despite the Central Bank of Nigeria saying it has enough financial means to meet forex demands.
The Naira declined by N12 from N483 it exchanged on Monday amid persistent scarcity and high demands by importers and businesses looking to offset COVID-19 losses with the usual December high demand sales.
Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Tuesday blamed the wide foreign exchange rate at the black market on speculators and hoarders looking for personal gain at the expense of the nation.
He went on to caution experts using black market rates to analyse the local currency performance to stop and claimed that section of the forex only accounts for 5 percent of the nation’s total foreign exchange transactions.
While that might be true, it is also true that majority of manufacturers and businesses have turned to the black market for their forex needs in recent months, especially after it became obvious that the apex bank does not have enough liquidity to service the economy.
The nation’s foreign reserves has been battered by the weak oil prices and the continuous production cut by OPEC and allies to artificially support low prices. Nigeria’s foreign reserves is presently hovering between $35 billion and $36 billion after plunging from $45 billion attained in June 2019, according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Against the British Pound, the Nigerian Naira depreciated by N15 to N635 from N620 it exchanged on Monday. Another indication of chronic forex scarcity as the local currency also plunged to N580 against the European common currency, the Euro.
The wide forex is expected to further weigh on the nation’s inflation rate and consumer spending this December.
On Tuesday, the apex bank left the interest rate unchanged at 11.5 percent and attributed the rising inflation rate to structural policies, the recent #EndSARS protest and a surging fuel price.
Naira Gains N1 to N483 Against US Dollar as CBN Warned Speculators of Impending Doom
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday warned speculators and hoarders of the United States Dollar against creating artificial forex scarcity for personal gain.
Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said black market forex rates does not reflect the economic reality of the Nigerian Naira as that section of the forex is tainted with bribes and individuals looking to profit at the expense of the nation.
“We do not agree that the determining factor for our currency should be based on a market that is tainted, where people go to offer bribes,” he stated during a virtual monetary policy committee briefing in Abuja.
The Nigerian Naira gained N1 against the United States dollar to trade at N483 at the parallel market also known as the black market, up from N484 it traded on Monday.
Emefiele said “The black market is illegal where people do not provide documentation to support transactions. It is unfortunate and unfair for analysts to say Nigeria’s exchange rate is at 480 per dollar.”
The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) agreed with the central bank, saying speculators and currency hoarders are responsible for the wide forex rates. The association warned that speculators are going to lose money given that the apex bank has foreign reserves of $36 billion to support the local currency and meet forex demands.
The apex bank left the interest rate unchanged at 11.5 percent to further stimulate growth in the real sector and speed up the recovery process with cheaper loans. Other ratios were left unchanged as well.
Speaking on the rising inflation rate, Godwin Emefiele attributed the 14.23 percent increase in consumer prices to the rising pump price, the recent #EndSARS protest and structural policies.
Therefore, it looks like the apex bank will damn rising inflation for the first time to focus on economic productivity, new job creation and general growth.
The Naira CBN official rate remains $379 to a United States Dollar while it exchanged at N385 on the Investors and Exporters Forex Window on Tuesday.
Bureaux De Change Association Warns Against Hoarding of US Dollar, Says Speculators will Lose
The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) on Sunday warned currency speculators and hoarders of impending losses if they do not desist from creating bogus foreign exchange rates for personal gain.
In a statement titled, “ABCON warns speculators will lose money as CBN has enough reserves to fund market, defend naira”, the association said speculators and hoarders are taking a huge risk as the Central Bank of Nigeria has enough liquidity to defend the Naira and maintain stability against global foreign counterparts.
This is coming few days after the local currency plunged to N484 to a United States dollar and N620 against the British Pound at the black market due to the rising demand and persistent scarcity that most hoarders interpreted as lack of financial muscle on the part of the central bank, especially if the nation’s falling foreign reserves is factored in.
However, ABCON said with about $36 billion foreign reserves, the Central Bank of Nigeria has the necessary means to punish speculators and hoarders they described as enemies of the nation.
President of ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, explained that the central bank is working to unify the nation’s foreign exchange rates and eliminate past challenges that have made market determined forex rates almost impossible.
He said “I think that the CBN by pushing the official foreign exchange rate from N306 to N379 to the dollar is in line with market demand.
“It has also helped to narrow the official-parallel market rates gap that formed the basis of ridiculous speculations among unpatriotic forex dealers and spectators.”
Gwadabe, however, advised the Federal Government to improve security surveillance at the nation’s land borders to checkmate illegal foreign currency cash deals.
He also asked the central bank to raise liquidity ratio of bureau de change operators to discourage dollar holdings.
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