By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Last Friday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold about N51 billion Treasury bills in a bid to mop up liquidity as the overnight lending rate traded flat at 10 per cent.
It was gathered that the country’s apex bank sold N25 billion of 174-day open market operation bills at 18 per cent and N26 billion of the 364-day paper at 18.5 per cent at an auction last week Friday.
That brought the total of debt sales to N370.67 billion last week as the CBN had been trying to remove cash from the banking system to contain annual inflation, which hit 17.8 per cent, more than 11-year high in September.
According to Daily Trust, liquidity got a lift by the CBN’s budget allocations for government agencies last Monday and the repayment of matured treasury bills due on Thursday.
Traders said major players were willing to lend their cash at 10 per cent for overnight lending, unchanged to Thursday.
“We expect the overnight rate to remain stable around the present level next week unless the central bank sustains its cash withdrawal exercise,” one analyst added.
At the interbank’s foreign exchange spot rate window on Friday, the local currency strengthened relative to foreign currencies.
Specifically, the Naira closed at N304.50 against the US Dollar, representing an appreciation of 0.16 per cent from previous close.
Shortest money market bills – the Open Buy Back (OBB) and Overnight (O/N) – closed higher at 9.67 per cent and 10.25 per cent respectively.
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