Naira Appreciates After CBN Rules Out Devaluation
By Adedapo Adesanya
Calm return to the foreign exchange market in Nigeria on Friday after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday said it was not going to devalue the Naira as earlier being feared in some quarters.
This made the local currency to retreat to N380/$1 at the parallel market yesterday, after the value depreciated to N400/$1 at the black market due to panic demand for forex. This consequently made dealers to hoard the ones with them.
However, the local currency depreciated by N2 against the Euro at the same market segment, selling on Friday at N416/€1 instead of the N414/€1 it was traded on Thursday. But the domestic currency maintained stability against the Pound Sterling at N490/£1.
Business Post observed that the assurance from the CBN about the devaluation rumour boosted the confidence of investors at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the market yesterday.
Data from FMDQ showed that the Nigerian currency appreciated by N5.53k or 1.48 percent against the US Dollar to close at N368.47/$1 compared with N374/$1 it traded at the previous session.
The value of transactions at the I&E window significantly increased during the session as transactions worth $1.03 billion were carried out in contrast to $156.42 billion achieved on Thursday, representing an increasse by 5, 578 percent or $872.58 million.
In the statement issued by spokesman of the banking industry regulator in Nigeria, Mr Isaac Okorafor, it was stressed that, “The Central Bank of Nigeria wishes to note with displeasure, the rumours and speculative activities of unscrupulous players in the foreign exchange market, borne out of the impression that the CBN is on the verge of devaluing the Naira, and triggering panic in the FX Market.”
At the interbank segment of the market, which is the government’s exchange rate, the Naira remained flat at N306.95/$1.
At the Bureaux De Change (BDCs) segment in Lagos, the Naira gained N12 to close at N370/$1 in contrast to N382/$1 it quoted the previous session. Against the Pound, the domestic currency remained unchanged at N490/£1, while it declined by N8 on the Euro to close at N416/€1 compared with N408/€1 it was sold on Thursday.
In Abuja, the local currency appreciated by N2 against the greenback to N366/$1 from N368/$1. However, it depreciated against both the Euro by N6 to N424/€1 from N418/€1 and lost N1 on the Pound to close at N488/£1 in contrast to the previous rate of N487/£1.
In Port Harcourt, the local currency appreciated by N11 against the American currency to N370/$1 from N381/$1, and gained N13 against the British Pound to N476/£1 from N489/£1, while it appreciated by N63 on the Euro to N417/£1 from N480/€1.
In the city of Kano, the value of the Naira was strengthened against the Dollar by N13 to close at N367/$1 compared with N380/$1 it was traded the previous day. However, it closed flat against the Pound Sterling and the Euro at N475/£1 and N417/€1 respectively.
In its statement on Thursday, the CBN warned against panic buying, noting that it has commenced investigations in collaboration with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and related agencies to uncover the persons and FX dealers behind the panic calls.
“The CBN will invoke the full weight of applicable sanctions on any persons and authorised dealers found to be involved in such disruptive and speculative market behavior,” the CBN warned, maintaining the country has what it takes to defend the Naira.