Naira gains against USD supply, now 390/dollar

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The naira recorded a gain against the United States dollar on the parallel market on Tuesday, a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria injected $240m into the foreign exchange market.

The local unit rose from 395/dollar on Monday to 390/dollar on Tuesday as the new forex supply weighed on the market.

The CBN had on Monday released the sum of $90m to meet requests for invisibles such as business travel and personal travel allowances, medical and school fees.

The apex bank also offered a total of $150m to authorised foreign exchange dealers in the interbank wholesale auction window same day.

The development brought to $240m the total amount of forex released by the regulator on Monday.

The regulator also adjusted the sale day of forex to Bureau De Change operators to Tuesdays only to reduce logistical difficulties.

As a result, the central bank would sell $10,000 only to low-end forex dealers once a week, instead of $8000 a week previously.

Economic and financial analysts said the spate of interventions and dollar supply by the central bank would determine the direction of the naira in the coming weeks.

On the back of the previous forex supply by the CBN, the naira had appreciated to 375/dollar early last week.

The local currency, however, weakened to 383/dollar on Thursday before dropping to 390/dollar on Friday.

“The latest dollar injection is yet to fully percolate into the forex market; when that happens, the naira will appreciate further,” a currency analyst at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ezun, said.

The naira closed at 306.25 to the dollar on Tuesday at the interbank market, compared with 306.30 the previous day.

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Meanwhile, the CBN said on Tuesday it would offer dollar forwards to be delivered within two months to offset a backlog of matured foreign exchange obligations to manufacturers, airlines, fuel importers and agriculture businesses.

“Authorised dealers’ accounts with the central bank will be debited in full for the naira equivalent of the dollar bid amount on a spot basis,” the bank said in a notice to commercial lenders.

“The central bank will settle the bids through forward settlements of two months,” the CBN added without specifying the amount of dollars to be sold.

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