Naira tumbles to 402 on dollar scarcity


Oyetunji Abioye with agency report

The naira tumbled to 402 at the parallel market on Wednesday, a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria banned nine banks from the foreign exchange market over their failure to remit $2.334bn to the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The local currency had closed at 397/dollar on Tuesday.

At the interbank market, the naira closed at 315.93/dollar, lower than 305.5 it recorded on Tuesday.

The naira, which hit a fresh record low since the CBN floated the currency on the official interbank market in June, first touched 400/dollar at the black market this month.

On the interbank market on Wednesday, no trades were posted until three minutes before the end of the session, when the CBN which has been reducing its dollar sales, intervened, Reuters reported quoting traders.

Only three deals worth $0.75m were traded at 305.50 per dollar, a level the market has closed at since Monday. The naira had hit an all-time low of 365.25 per dollar on the interbank on Thursday

The overnight naira interbank lending rate stayed ultra-high on Friday, quadrupling from 6.26 per cent since Wednesday as the Central Bank of Nigeria took steps in the debt and currency markets to try to prop up the ailing local currency.

The CBN sold dollars on Thursday and Friday, traders said. It also sold about N236bn ($776m) of open market operations treasury bills on Thursday, which sent the banking system into a deficit of around N39bn on Friday.

Traders said interbank rates should ease this week when part of July’s budget allocation should enter the banking system.

The Federal Government distributes revenue from crude exports every month among its 36 states, and local and federal administrations.

 

Contact: editor@punchng.com

 

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