By Dipo Olowookere
The treasury bills space continued its gradual recovery on Wednesday, especially at the long-end of the curve, moving closer to the double-digit region.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in order to discourage the dumping of funds in the fixed-income market to earn a higher profit, started to slice the stop rates of the investment asset and it even went below one per cent at a point.
According to the CBN, it wanted money to be used for activities that could stimulate economic growth in the country like in manufacturing and other businesses, which could generate jobs and trigger spending.
But when Nigeria slipped into a recession in the third quarter of last year, the central bank started to relax its policy stance and began to gradually raise the rates.
Yesterday, the CBN was at the primary market to sell some T-bills and at the exercise, it raised the stop rate for the 364-day treasury bills by one per cent but left the 91-day and 182-days unchanged.
According to the details of the sales obtained by Business Post, the apex bank auctioned N10.0 billion worth of the short-dated tenor, N17.6 billion worth of the mid-dated tenor and N68.1 billion worth of the long-dated tenor, totalling N95.7 billion.
When the subscriptions were analysed, investors’ appetite for the short and mid-term maturities was not as it used to be as the bills were undersubscribed.
Traders staked N9.4 billion on the 91-day instrument and N12.7 billion on the 182-day instrument, while the 364-day instrument received bids valued at N190.4 billion, indicating a subscription level of 279.6 per cent.
This helped to boost the total value of the subscriptions received from the market participants yesterday at N212.5 billion, N116.8 billion or 122.1 per cent higher than the amount offered for sale by the apex bank for the Debt Management Office (DMO) on behalf of the federal government.
At the close of the exercise, the apex bank allotted N2.9 billion for the 91-day bill at a static rate of 2.00 per cent, N3.2 billion was sold for the 182-day bill at the previous rate of 3.50 per cent, while N138.7 billion was allotted for the 364-day bill at 8.00 per cent compared with the previous 7.00 per cent.
The total amount of the treasury bills sold yesterday at the primary market auction (PMA) by the central bank stood at N144.8 billion, N49.1 billion or 51.3 per cent higher than the N95.7 billion brought to the market.
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