- Interbank Lending Rate Jumps to Record High
The overnight interbank lending rate soared to a record high of 128 per cent on Monday on naira cash shortages after commercial banks funded their account with the Central Bank of Nigeria to participate in last Friday’s currency forward auction.
Overnight rates opened at 100 per cent on Monday, traders said, after the money market ended on Friday with no deals as commercial lenders held onto naira to be able to participate in the auction, Reuters reported.
Overnight money had traded at 14 per cent on Thursday.
The CBN had on Friday held a two-month dollar forward auction to clear a backlog of demand from airlines, manufacturers and other companies, as the naira crisis deepened.
However, it debited customers’ naira accounts on the day of the auction but would deliver the dollars in two months’ time, traders said, adding that the move had soaked up liquidity from the money markets.
The central bank intervened again on Monday with dollar sales to support the naira, which ended at 305.50 per dollar, traders said.
Meanwhile, the Debt Management Office has borrowed N95bn ($312.50m) at an auction of local currency bonds, according to the DMO data
The DMO said the 2021 maturing debt attracted higher yield, while the 2026 and 2036 papers fetched lower returns.
The debt office sold N10bn of the 2021 paper at 15.29 per cent, compared with 15.14 per cent at the previous auction last month.
The DMO had initially offered N35bn of the five-year bond.
It also sold N45bn of the 2026 debt at 15.47 per cent, lower than 15.53 per cent, and N40bn of the 2036 debt at 15.48 per cent, compared with 15.59 per cent.
The debt office sold more than the initially advertised amount of N35bn apiece for the 2026 and 2036 papers at the auction, Reuters reported
Investors had demanded yields ranging between 12 per cent and 17 per cent for all the debts on offer, but the debt office was not willing to pay more for the debts, one trader said.
The Federal Government has said it will borrow about N900bn locally to finance part of the N2.2tn deficit in the 2016 budget.
The DMO issues local bonds as part of measures to finance the government budget deficit and also to help manage liquidity in the banking system.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it is planning to borrow N1.77bn via Treasury bills in the last three months of the year.
In its fourth quarter Treasury bill issuance programme, the apex bank said it would raise about N815.37bn, comprising 91 days, 182 days and 364 days’ debt instruments.
In addition to the above, the central bank is also planning to borrow about N952.05bn as rollover in the three categories of the instruments.
The Federal Government distributes revenues from crude exports and taxes among the three tiers of government every month.
CBN Directs Banks to go After COVID-19 Financial Criminals
Central Bank Asks Banks to Stay Abreast Frauds and Rising COVID-19 Financial Crimes
The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all financial institutions in Nigeria to update alert protocols in their Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism monitoring tools, in accordance with emerging trends of rising COVID-19 related financial crimes.
In a circular titled, ‘Administrative letters to all banks and other financial institutions’ issued on Monday and signed by J.M. Gana, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, the apex bank said changes in business activities and financial transactions due to the shift caused by COVID-19 pandemic have led to the surge in financial crimes globally.
Therefore, it said financial institutions must now adapt quickly and keep abreast of the new emerging financial risks and other developments to arrest this new and emerging ML/TF.
According to the circular, this includes strategic investment in data mining and artificial intelligence software to monitor financial transactions effectively and report as quickly as possible.
The central bank said the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, the central repository of suspicious transactions and other financial information, had released a comprehensive report on STRs and others.
It stated that the NFIU had identified cybercrimes, frauds, counterfeiting and substandard goods, diversion of public funds and misuse of non-government organisations funds as some of the ongoing crimes that banks across the nation need to stay abreast and report.
Other suspicious transactions and red flags identified in the report were some e-commerce companies with little or zero history or internet presence suddenly receiving multiple payments from unrelated third parties.
Similarly, it said individuals with zero or little history of financial transactions receiving multiple payments from unrelated third parties. It also noted that customers who suddenly start delaying in the supply or purchases of medical supplies and payment of goods linked to known brands, yet the beneficiary is an individual, not a corporate company should be flagged.
The measures, the apex bank said were necessary due to the rising numbers of unusual transactions from banks’ customers and unscrupulous individuals.
Union Bank Secures US$40 Million Facility from IFC Global Trade Finance
Union Bank Secures US$40 Million Facility from IFC Global Trade Finance
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc said it has secured a US$40,000,000 finance guarantee facility from the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
In a note to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the lender said the facility would help boost access to finance for local businesses and enable increased international trade for Nigeria.
It explained that the facility “will support Union Bank to establish working partnerships with nearly 300 major international banks within the GTFP network, thereby broadening access to finance and reducing cash collateral requirements for Nigerian businesses.
“The facility will enable the continued flow of trade credit into the Nigerian market at a time when imports are critical, and the country’s exports can generate much-needed foreign exchange.”
Under the IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) terms of the agreement, GTFP offers benefiting banks partial or full guarantees covering payment risk on Union Bank’s trade-related transactions.
Accordingly, these guarantees are transaction-specific and may vary depending on underlying instruments like letters of credit, trade-related promissory notes, guarantees, bonds, and advance payment guarantees.”
Emeka Emuwa, Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, said, “Union Bank is pleased to join the IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program. This is a significant achievement as we continue to expand our trade financing offerings to our
customers. Even in these peculiar times, we remain focused on contributing to economic growth by developing tailored solutions that help our customers harness the teeming opportunities that still exist in the Nigerian market.”
Eme Essien Lore, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “Keeping trade moving is essential to growth and job creation, especially during the challenging economic times we are living through today. We welcome Union Bank to IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program and value a partnership that will make a positive impact on Nigeria’s economy.”
Apapa Customs Command Generate N367.6bn in Nine Months
Customs Command Apapa Realises N367.6bn Between January and September
The Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Command, said it generated N367.6 billion in the nine-month ended September 2020.
Mohammed Abba-Kura, the Customs Area Controller, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos.
He said a total of 328 containers of goods worth N19.5 billion were seized during the period. This, he said represents an increase of 37 containers when compared to the same period of 2019.
Speaking further, Abba-Kura said the N367.6 billion realised in the first nine months of the year, represented a 17 percent or N54.1 billion increase from N313.5 billion it collected during the same period of 2019.
The Apapa Command generated N14.3 billion as revenue in the third quarter from customers’ duty and other charges.
He said “The difference recorded was made possible as a result of resilience of officers in ensuring that importers and agents are made to do proper declarations, adhere strictly to import/export guidelines in tandem with extant laws.”
Commenting on the seizures, Abba-Kura said, “These items were seized mainly because of various forms of infractions which range from false declarations, non-adherence to import/export guidelines and failure to comply with other extant regulations as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act.
“In the area of export trade, the period under review recorded exportation of goods worth N26,273,706,822 exported from the country.”
“These exported goods include mineral resources, steel bars, agricultural products among others with a total tonnage of 378,447 million tonnes free on board value of $85.8m. Similarly, the volume of export from January to September 2020 stood at N78.6bn with FOB $257,003,965.”
He added that the compliance level rose to about 60 percent during the period, highlighting the reason for the surge in the number of seizures made.
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