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CBN Sells $989.6m to Importers, Retail Customers

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CBN Sells $989.6m to Importers, Retail Customers

CBN Sells $989.6m to Importers, Retail Customers

By Dipo Olowookere

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold a total of $989.6 million to importers and retail customers in January with commercial banks allocating them at rates as low as N466.75k, a record low by banks for sale to customers, data has shown.

According Reuters, this was prior to the central bank’s decision in February to sell Dollars to Nigerians wanting to pay for travels, foreign medical bills or school fees at around 20 percent above the official rate of N305.

Nigeria has been running short of Dollars as a result of lower global prices for oil, its major export. The economy shrank last year for the first time in quarter of a century.

The shortage has weakened the naira on the black market, where it trades far lower than the official interbank rate.

The January figures also showed that Access Bank Plc exchanged $50 million with the United States lender, JP Morgan, at N400 per dollar, and another $100 million with South Africa’s ABSA at N329.

It showed a range of between N257.50k and N466.75k for dollar allocations in January.

One commercial bank sold the Dollar as low as N466.75k for school fees, while another sold at N257.50k for spare parts in January.

The central bank settled some futures contract at N274 per Dollar at the January sale.

Last week, the bank sold a total of $780 million in forward contracts to support the Naira after effectively devaluing the currency for individuals, offering to sell them Dollars at about half the premium the black market charges.

On Thursday, it said it would sell forward contracts on the Dollar via a book-building process to clear dollar demand for importers but not disclose how much was on offer.

Though the central bank has stepped up dollar supply in recent days, the currency still trades at a more-than 30 percent premium on the black market.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

Nigeria at 62: Buhari Says Borrowing Necessary for Growth

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Buhari stimulating economic growth

By Adedapo Adesanya

In what would be his last Independence Day address, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, defended his government’s borrowing policy, describing it as a necessary step to provide the infrastructure that would expand opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Mr Buhari stated in the address to the country on October 1, 2022, that, “The federal government is already expanding port operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

“To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.”

The President also noted that no village in the country was left behind in the regime’s Social Investment Programmes such as N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, etc.

“I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focused intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

“There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

“All the programmes mentioned above along with various interventions by the National Social Investment Programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succour to the affected Nigerians,” Mr Buhari said.

He also promised Nigerians that he would ensure free and fair elections come 2023 and called for more youth and women participation in the electoral cycle.

He said, “Having witnessed at close quarters the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee the election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

“You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states, notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun and a few federal constituencies, have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 general elections,” he said.

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Economy

CSCS, NASD Lifts Unlisted Stock Market by 0.61%

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Unlisted Stock Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The final trading session on the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange in September 2022 ended on a positive note on Friday, with the bourse closing 0.61 per cent lower.

Business Post reports that the bullish performance was buoyed by the rise in the share prices of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc and NASD Plc.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of the unlisted stock market increased by N5.83 billion to close at N968.60 billion versus Thursday’s N962.77 billion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) expanded by 4.44 basis points to end the day at 735.79 points as against the 731.35 points it recorded in the previous session.

Yesterday, CSCS Plc improved by N1.07 to sell at N14.17 per share compared to the N13.10 per share of the preceding session, while NASD Plc gained N1 to close at N13.00 per unit in contrast to the preceding day’s N14.00 per unit.

But the bullish trend did not extend to the activity chart as the volume of securities traded by investors decreased by 55.1 per cent to 105,440 units from the 725,984 units transacted a day earlier.

In the same pattern, the value of transactions went down by 96.1 per cent to N1.6 million from N41.5 million, while the number of deals increased by 50 per cent to six deals from the four deals recorded on Thursday.

At the end of the session, AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, CSCS Plc stood in second place with 687.6 million units valued at N14.3 billion as Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place with 178.1 million units valued at N313.4 million.

CSCS Plc was also the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) with 687.6 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units valued at N7.4 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in third place with 14.3 million units worth N1.7 billion.

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Economy

Naira Exchanges N752/$1 at P2P, N740/$1 at Unofficial Market

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Naira parallel market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira closed weaker against the American Dollar at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Friday, losing N3 to trade at N752/$1 compared with Thursday’s value of N749/$1.

Also, in the unofficial market, the value of the Naira to the US currency declined by N5 to trade at N740/$1 in contrast to the N735/$1 it was transacted a day earlier as politicians begin to mop up the available greenbacks in the system.

However, it was a different story at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window as the Naira maintained stability against the Dollar yesterday at N437.03/$1.

The turnover for the trading session, according to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange, was very low as only $45.89 million worth of forex exchanged hands, 79.4 per cent or $177.41 million lower than the $223.30 million reported at Thursday’s session.

In the same vein, in the interbank segment of the market, the Nigerian Naira witnessed a stalemate against the Pound Sterling and the Euro, closing at N469.88/£1 and N420.75/€1, respectively.

Meanwhile, seven of the 10 digital coins tracked in the cryptocurrency market came under pressure on Friday, with Ripple (XRP) losing 3.1 per cent to trade at $0.4842, and Solana (SOL) recording a 1.9 per cent slide to sell at $33.30.

Cardano (ADA) went down by 1.1 per cent to settle at $0.4309, Litecoin (LTC) depreciated by 0.9 per cent to trade at $53.33, Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go down by 0.5 per cent to sell at $1,328.27, Binance Coin (BNB) slid by 0.4 per cent to finish at $281.68, and Bitcoin (BTC) lost 0.3 per cent to close at $19,408.61

However, the value of Dogecoin (DOGE) appreciated in the market yesterday by 2.0 per cent to trade at $0.0617, while Binance USD and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) remained unchanged at $1.00, respectively.

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