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Business

IMF board raises medium term target for precautionary reserves

The IMF”s executive board has agreed to raise the precautionary reserves, citing increased credit risk exposures.

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IMF discloses immediate priority , Reduce funding oil subsidy - IMF to Nigeria , IMF: 40% of African countries can't pay back their debts , Nigeria among countries that pushed Global debt to $188 trillion - IMF , Coronavirus: World Bank, IMF to support Nigeria and other member countries affected, IMF, World Bank to hold meetings via conference call over Coronavirus epidemic, IMF advises banks to suspend dividend payment

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to raise the medium-term target for the fund’s precautionary reserves, citing increased credit exposure risks and sharp increase in financial risks since 2018.

READ: COVID-19: IMF Chief predicts $345 billion financing gap in African countries 

According to a statement issued by IMF

  • “The fund’s 24 executive directors increased the target to Special Drawing Rights 25 billion, or around $36 billion, from SDR 20 billion, or $29 billion, after a regular biannual review conducted at the end of October.
  • “The review, delayed by a few months to permit a+-n assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, showed a significant increase in the fund’s credit exposure and related risk since the last review in 2018, compounded by the pandemic.
  • “Credit outstanding has nearly doubled, including a surge in emergency financing without conditionality, and commitments under precautionary arrangements are higher than at the last review.
  • Credit has become more concentrated and scheduled repurchases were larger and more bunched. The current target for precautionary balances of SDR 20 billion was also likely to drop below the indicative range this fiscal year and next.
  • “Given these developments, directors agreed to keep the minimum floor for precautionary balances – which include general and special reserves and a special contingent account – at SDR 15 billion and raise the medium-term target to SDR 25 billion, while continuing to monitor the situation carefully.”

READ: Corruption erodes the constituency for aid programmes and humanitarian relief – IMF

What you should know

  • The Special Drawing Right (SDR) was created as a supplementary international reserve asset in the context of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system.
  • SDR allocations play a key role in providing liquidity and supplementing member countries’ official reserves, as was the case amid the global financial crisis.
  • The SDR serves as the unit of account of the IMF and some other international organizations.
  • The SDR is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members.
  • The SDR basket is reviewed every five years or earlier if warranted, to ensure that the basket reflects the relative importance of currencies in the world’s trading and financial systems.
  • The reviews cover the key elements of the SDR method of valuation, including criteria and indicators used in selecting SDR basket currencies and the initial currency weights used in determining the amounts (number of units) of each currency in the SDR basket.
  • These currency amounts remain fixed over the five-year SDR valuation period but the actual weights of currencies in the basket fluctuate as cross-exchange rates among the basket currencies move.
  • The value of the SDR is determined daily based on market exchange rates. The reviews are also used to assess the appropriateness of the financial instruments comprising the SDR interest rate (SDRi) basket.

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Johnson is a risk management professional and banker with unbridled passion for research and writing. He graduated top of the class with B.sc Statistics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA degree with specialization in Finance from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, with fellowships from the Association of Enterprise Risk management Professionals(FERP) and Institute of Credit and Collections management of Nigeria (FICCM). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Risk management in one of the top-rated universities in the UK.

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    Business

    CBN assures exporters of unhindered access to their dollar earnings

    The CBN has given assurances to exporters that they will continue to have unfettered access to their export proceeds.

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    CBN forex restrictions on food itemsCBN approves new cheque standard for banks

    The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given assurances to exporters that they will continue to have unfettered access to their export proceeds.

    This is believed to be part of the monetary control measure by the apex bank to ensure more dollar inflow and maintain forex liquidity.

    This disclosure was made by the Governor of CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, during a virtual presentation at Zenith Bank’s 2021 Export Seminar, on Thursday, April 20, 2021.

    Emefiele, however, in his statement, urged the exporters to reciprocate the good gestures of the central bank by repatriating their funds back to the country.

    He said that supporting greater trade within Africa and the global community is vital to the CBN’s objectives of enabling greater economic growth and creating employment opportunities for the country’s growing population.

    Emefiele said there is a strong push for the diversification of the Nigerian economy as the coronavirus outbreak has impacted negatively on global oil prices in 2020, which led to a huge drop in the country’s foreign exchange earnings and government revenue.

    The CBN boss was optimistic that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) will provide opportunities for the Nigerian private sector to expand into new markets and seek new export opportunities, particularly in the area of manufacturing, ICT, agriculture and financial services.

    He stated that the full implementation of AFCFTA would give Nigerian firms preferential access to markets in Africa with a value of about $504.17 billion in goods and $162 billion in services.

    What you should know

    It can be recalled that the CBN had introduced several measures to encourage the inflow of forex into the country following the sharp drop in oil revenue.

    Some of those measures include the Naira 4 Dollar Scheme, an initiative aimed at giving incentives to senders and recipients of international money transfer in order to attract more diaspora remittances through official channels

    The CBN had in January 2021, announced that all Nigerian exporters who are yet to repatriate their export proceeds, will be barred from banking services effective from January 31, 2021.

    Why this matters

    The CBN believes that repatriating these export proceeds via the NAFEX (Investor and Exporter) window will improve liquidity in the official market and perhaps strengthen the naira at the black market.

    Most of the exporters sell their forex to the parallel market where it can be exchanged for higher naira value-boosting their gains on foreign currency conversions.

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    However, it is yet to be seen if exporters will comply with this directive or seek other means of avoiding the hammer on them. Most exporters already find a way to avoid these hammers by opening foreign bank accounts where most of the export proceeds are warehoused and then sold at the black market.

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    Business

    Trespassers allegedly invade Banana Island, Onikoyi, pose threat to residents

    Several unidentified people have been reportedly loitering around Onikoyi Road, Turnbull Road exit, Park View Estate and Alexander Road in Ikoyi.

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    Trespassers have allegedly invaded highbrow areas in Ikoyi, especially Banana Island, posing a looming danger to the serenity of the area.

    This was confirmed by a video shared on Twitter on Tuesday.

    Some of the trespassers are roadside food sellers, barbers, and hoodlums, some of whom were seen in clusters, smoking hemp and ominously watching the movements of residents. The presence and activities of these invaders are yet to attract the attention of relevant security agencies in the state. It is still unclear who these people are, where they have come from and why there are quite a number of them loitering about the highlighted areas.

    According to the video that went viral, the invaders have been seen milling around streets like Onikoyi Road, Turnbull Road exit, Park view estate and Alexander Road among others.

    READ: How Nigeria discovered gold along Abuja-Nassarawa axis – Minister

    Residents lament

    Some of the residents, who spoke with Nairametrics in a telephone interview also confirmed the development, which they described as ‘a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.’

    One of the telephone respondents, a staff of a Telecoms company operating in the area, who spoke on the condition of anonymity claimed that the hoodlums often harass residents and law-abiding citizens working around those areas.

    He said, “They harass some of our office assistants when they run errands for the organisation at times and that is disturbing. We have complained to security agencies but nothing has been done. All we were told was that the police will take appropriate action soon.”

    Another resident explained that initially, it was the roadside food vendors that first came to the area and while some people complained, others argued that they should be permitted to operate because low-cadre staff of organisations in the area need easy access to affordable meals.

    She said, “Their actions and trespass have gone beyond limit now and if nothing is done, the situation can turn chaotic soon. The environment is gradually losing its serenity.”

    Critics give knocks on social media

    Nigerians have taken to Twitter to criticise the report, saying that the rich cannot extricate themselves from the problems of the poor.

    For instance, Fisayo Soyombo, an investigative journalist, tweeted, “The rich who’re trying to #SecureIkoyi are missing a point: they cannot extricate themselves from the problems of the poor. The escapism of having Ikoyi all to themselves is a mere phantasm; it won’t happen. The rich had better be interested in the poor.

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    “Rather than worrying about having Ikoyi to themselves, they had better be interested in the creation  of a country that works for all, rather than just a few at the expense of the rest, else we are all in this vicious circle where Ikoyi is a little more than a glorified Ajegunle.”

    Mohammed Selim, stated, “Invaders??? Was it so difficult to see that loads of them are construction and domestic workers supposedly needed to run the supposedly high brow areas?? Your report is full of mischief & it’s inciting, calling fellow citizens invaders like they need passport to go anywhere there.”

    Oladeinde Olawoyin, tweeted, “Absolutely. Inclusive growth and all-round development that puts every citizen irrespective of social class in decent employment/productive engagement. That way, Ikoyi will sleep in peace, just as Ajegunle would, too. But then: wouldn’t that rob Ikoyi of its haughty demeanor?”

    Bottomline

    With the rising spate of insecurity in the country, security agencies may need to carry out further investigation to ascertain that these people do not pose a security risk to law-abiding residents and company staff in the highlighted areas; and to prevent a possible breakdown of law and order.

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