CBN boosts agriculture, airlines, petroleum, others, with $262.5m forex

HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday bolstered activities in the agricultural, airlines, petroleum products and raw materials and machinery sectors with a total of $262.5 million in the inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market.

The intervention was the CBN’s first Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) for the year. Consequently, the naira/dollar exchange strengthened across the foreign exchange market on Friday. After trading on the same day, the naira gained marginally by N0.02k against the US dollar, closing at N360.41k on Friday compared to N360.43k traded the previous day at the investors and exporters forex window, data from FMDQ revealed.

At the CBN official window, the local currency remained stable, closing at N305.80k, the same level it traded on Thursday.

Isaac Okorafor, acting director in charge of Corporate Communications, confirmed the figures, noting that the releases remained targeted at boosting production and trade, in addition to sustaining liquidity in the market.

According to Okorafor, the CBN would not relent in its resolve to make the inter-bank forex market liquid. He further said the bank was committed to driving economic growth and guaranteeing stability in the market.

Okorafor also reiterated that the bank’s intervention had effectively checked the activities of speculators, assuring that the bank would continue to monitor thoroughly, the activities of authorised dealers, in order to checkmate possible sharp practices.

Meanwhile, the naira exchanged at N359 to a United States dollar on Friday, January 12, 2018, maintaining its stability in the market.

“We expect sustained stability in the naira as global crude oil price retains its upbeat which should result in further build-up in foreign reserve”, analysts at the Cowry Asset Management limited said.

The naira strengthened against the U.S. dollar at the Investors & Exporters Forex Window (I&E FXW) by 0.25 percent to N360.41/USD week-on-week (w-o-w) amid the injections by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) worth USD210 million into the foreign exchange market of which USD 100 million was allocated to Wholesale (SMIS), USD55 million was allocated to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and USD55 million was sold for invisibles.

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Author: Bill Okonedo