- CBN Pumps $26.765bn into FX Market in 20 Months
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has pumped $26.765 billion into the interbank segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market since it started its forays into the market in February last year, figures compiled have shown.
The amount of the weekly forex sales increased by $3.508 billion, from N23.257 billion as of August 8, to $26.765 billion as of November 21.
A breakdown of the forex intervention in the past three months showed that while between August 10 and August 28th, the central bank intervened with a total of $1.290 billion; in September it sold $1.250 billion; in October only $210 million was sold and in November, the regulator has so far intervened with $757.16 million.
An analysis of the dollar sales showed that in 2017 alone, the bank intervened with a total of $15.043 billion and between January and November 21 in 2018; it has pumped in $11.5 billion in the market.
The naira exchange rate has remained stable since last year when the central bank commenced the forex sales.
Average exchange rate of the naira to the US dollar on the interbank and BDC segments is N305.79/US$ and N362.25/US$ respectively.
The average exchange rate at the Investors’ & Exporters’ Window has been around N363/US$.
In April 2017, the CBN introduced a new exchange rate window, the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Fixing Mechanism (NAFEX), commonly known as the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I &E) window.
The I & E window and the interbank market have been seen as the main exchange rate windows utilised in foreign currency trading.
Analysts recently predicted that the combination of tightening global financing conditions, which has resulted to capital outflows in the country, the elevated global risk aversion, 2019 election uncertainties and high services payments were likely to put pressure on the naira going into next year.
Analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited and the Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC), who stated this in two separate reports obtained by THISDAY recently, argued that capital repatriation by foreign investors was also expected to heighten dollar demand.
But the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had insisted that it has enough war chest to meet forex demand in the country.
To the CSL, Nigeria’s periodic currency crises are mainly due to policy makers’ inability to deal with the macroeconomic phenomena called the “impossible Trinity.”
It said, “The impossible trinity (also known as the trilemma) postulates that it is impossible to have all three of the following at the same time: a fixed foreign exchange rate, free movement of capital (absence of capital controls) and an independent monetary policy.
“We think pressure will appear in the foreign exchange market and a parallel market premium in the range of 10-20 per cent will return. Given this view, we recommend that local fixed income investors shorten duration and remain focused on the short-end of the curve.”
Crude oil price plunged to a one-year low of $58.41 a barrel at the weekend, down more than 22 percent, following global oversupply. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, fell close to $50 a barrel.
The development may further hurt Nigeria’s external reserves which has fallen to $41.523 billion as of last Thursday.
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, last week pointed out that “the downside risks to global economic activity remained the elevated financial fragilities and policy uncertainties, the gradual erosion of rule-based multilateral trading system, tighter financial conditions with latent disruptive portfolio adjustments, increased capital flow reversals with potentials for heightened exchange rate depreciation and some volatility, fiscal fragilities and increased debt burden, geo-political tensions and increasingly depressed aggregate demand in some countries. These factors will continue to shape developments for the rest of 2018 and into 2019.”
Zenith Bank Signs MOU With CFA Institute to Develop Finance and Investment Professionals
Zenith Bank Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute to promote efforts and activities that support the formation, training, and updating of human capital in finance and investment for the overall development of the Nigerian financial services sector.
The MoU, was signed by the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu; the President/CEO of the CFA Institute, Margaret Franklin; and the President of CFA Society Nigeria, Ibukun Oyedeji on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu commended the CFA Institute and the CFA Society, Nigeria for their laudable programmes in developing finance and investment professionals in Nigeria.
According to him, your Women in Investment Management Initiative, CFA Institute Research Challenge, CFA Society Nigeria Ethics Challenge and University Affiliation Program are very laudable, and Zenith Bank will continue to partner with the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Nigeria to ensure that young finance and investment professionals get the needed support for their career development.
In his words, “As a good corporate citizen, Zenith Bank remains committed to furthering the economic, cultural and social development of the society. As such, we continue to support projects and initiatives that have long-term social and economic benefits for our various publics and stakeholders. Partnering with the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Nigeria is therefore a demonstration of our commitment to building professional excellence in the finance services industry in Nigeria”.
At the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference, during the ‘Journey to the Top: A Discourse with CEOs’ segment, Dr. Onyeagwu inspired future finance and investment professionals to uphold the highest standards of integrity.
He stressed the importance of making difficult yet high-quality decisions, building robust networks, and dedicating themselves to hard work for career success.
In his words, “as upcoming professionals, the opportunities are immense for you. Africa doesn’t get bigger than Nigeria. There is scarcity of the right kind of people that have the talent, that have the character and the leadership to provide leadership in organizations. Make a decision to be one of those, make a decision to be different. You must be driven by your passion; you must delay gratification. In Zenith what is driving us is the strive for excellence. It is not about who you are and where you come from. We have the best class of talents you can think of anywhere in the world.”
He assured the young finance and investment professionals that Zenith Bank will offer immediate employment opportunity to CFA Charter Holders and those who qualify as Chartered Accountants.
Also speaking on the MoU, the President/CEO, CFA Institute, Margaret Franklin reiterated the Institute’s commitment to the professional development of students and upcoming professionals.
In her words, “there are many things that we do for students, we invest heavily in students and why is that? Because they are our future. The mission of the CFA Institute is to lead the investment industry with the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society and that starts with our CFA programme”.
She commended Zenith Bank for its continued support to the CFA Society Nigeria and sponsorship of the CFA Institute Research Challenge over the years.
She also commended the bank for being one of the top employers of CFA members in the country. She expressed her admiration of the culture of excellence in Zenith Bank.
Also speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the President of CFA Society Nigeria, Ibukun Oyedeji commended Zenith Bank for its partnership with CFA Society Nigeria and its commitment to the development of young finance professionals in the country.
The the CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference is being hosted by the CFA Institute and CFA Societies from Ghana, East Africa, South Africa and Mauritius. The conference has representatives from over 20 universities in Nigeria (members of their investment clubs being supported by CFA Society).
Currency Reforms Pose Challenges and Opportunities for Investment Banking, Says Former AIHN President
The ex-President of the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN), Ike Chioke, has shared insights on the dual impact of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s currency reforms, highlighting both challenges and opportunities for the investment banking industry.
Chioke made these remarks during the recently held Investment Banking Awards Night in Lagos.
Acknowledging the ongoing currency reforms, he emphasized the transformative nature of these policies, stating, “Nigeria is bracing up to the impacts of the new government and they are already making changes to what I will call non-unorthodox policies.”
He pointed out that the free-floating of the naira and the removal of fuel subsidies, while causing short-term hardships, are integral components of the evolving economic landscape.
Chioke urged industry professionals to leverage their skills and expertise to navigate and capitalize on the opportunities presented by these reforms.
“The investment banking industry is a critical one for the Nigerian economy, and we represent the best brains and the best expertise in that space,” he stated, emphasizing the pivotal role of investment banking in steering the nation’s economic course.
Meanwhile, the Investment Banking Awards Night recognized outstanding achievements in the Debt Capital Market and Equity Capital Markets categories.
Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited emerged as the winner in the Debt Capital Market Category, securing accolades such as Private Company Bond House 2022 Award, Best Commercial Paper House 2022 Award, and Best Bond House 2022 Award.
StanbicIBTC Capital Limited received the Best Commercial Paper House 2022 Award.
In the Equity Capital Markets Category, the Equity Deal of 2022 Award was shared among three distinguished companies: Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, UCML Capital, and Rand Merchant Bank, underscoring their impactful contributions to the equity market.
This celebration of excellence reflects the resilience and dynamism of the Nigerian investment banking sector amid a changing economic landscape.
FirstBank UK Enhances Fixed-Income Workflow Through Bloomberg Integration
FirstBank UK, the UK subsidiary of First Bank Nigeria Limited, has announced its onboarding on Bloomberg’s Trade Order Management System (TOMS) to enhance its fixed-income workflow.
The integration with TOMS is expected to provide FirstBank UK with access to a comprehensive suite of data and analytics, communications, order, and execution management solutions, streamlining its fixed-income bonds business.
As a niche market-maker for its customers in Africa, FirstBank UK plays a vital role in providing market liquidity in cash bonds, particularly in Nigerian, Angolan, Egyptian, and Ghanaian Eurobonds, to manage risk and optimize its inventory.
Olukorede Adenowo, CEO-designate at FirstBank UK, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, stating, “Bloomberg TOMS provides FirstBank UK with a complete end-to-end trading workflow covering African bonds in most of our home markets. The solution enables us to focus on expanding our footprint in the African Fixed Income landscape and deliver a first-in-kind service to our customers in Africa.”
Bloomberg’s TOMS is renowned for enhancing operational efficiency across enterprises. Lisa Bravo, Global Head of Sell-Side OMS at Bloomberg, commented, “We are pleased to help FirstBank UK enhance operational efficiency across its enterprise with our award-winning sell-side order management solution TOMS.”
FirstBank UK had previously digitized its order management workflow by offering clients access to liquidity on its Eurobond Single-Dealer Platform.
The recent integration with Bloomberg TOMS aims to centralize order handling, aggregated custom analytics, and liquidity tools within a single interface, facilitating real-time access to liquidity for customers.
Robert Hagenaars, Head of Markets at FirstBank UK, highlighted the unique feature of real-time access to liquidity in their markets, providing a distinct advantage for their customers.
This move signifies FirstBank UK’s commitment to leveraging advanced technological solutions to fortify its position in the African Fixed Income market and deliver enhanced services to its clientele.
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