Naira weaker on liquidity squeeze

Naira weaker on liquidity squeeze

Monday, February 23, 2015 6:41 pm

Nigeria’s naira shed 0.55 percent against dollar on Monday after some customers who failed to meet the cut-off time to submit dollar demand to the central bank sought the greenback from other sources, dealers said.

The unit closed at 200.60 naira to the dollar, weaker than Friday’s close of 199.50 naira.

The naira traded at 215 to the dollar at the parallel market, operated by Bureau de Change agents.

The naira crashed through a psychologically important level of 200 to the dollar this month in a rout triggered by weak oil prices and escalating tension over the postponement of a presidential election in Africa’s top oil producer, prompting the central bank to scrap its bi-weekly forex auctions.

Dealers said some customers submitted their orders to the central bank after a 1200 GMT cut-off time and were not allotted dollars, leaving them to source hard currency from lenders.

Addax sold $6 million on Monday while Royal Dutch Shell sold an undisclosed amount on the interbank, dealers said. Lenders resold to their customers at a spread.

Nigeria’s central bank scrapped its bi-weekly currency auctions on Wednesday and a market body said it would sell dollars only at 198 naira, a move that amounts to a de facto devaluation of the currency of Africa’s biggest economy.


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