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Naira strengthens at NAFEX window despite 61% drop in dollar supply

The exchange rate between the naira and the dollar appreciated marginally closing at N393.35/$1.



Naira falls across forex markets as businesses resume after public holidays

On January 19, 2021, the exchange rate between the naira and the dollar appreciated marginally closing at N393.35/$1 at the NAFEX (I&E Window) where forex is traded officially.

This is as dollar supply dropped by 61% with lower demand.

Also, the exchange rate at the black market where forex traded unofficially maintained stability at N475/$1. The exchange rate at the parallel market closed at N475/$1 on the previous trading day of January 18, 2021.

READ: Nigeria: Pressure on FX to continue in 2021 – Report

This is as the Central Bank of Nigeria sustains its intervention across the foreign exchange markets to meet the needs of manufacturers and end-users who need dollars for their medical trips, school fees payments, travel allowances, and others.

The apex bank has also resumed its dollar sales to Bureau De Change operators.

The exchange rate disparity between the parallel market and the official market is about N81.65, representing a 17.2% devaluation differential.

The Naira appreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window on Tuesday, closing at N393.35/$1. This represents a 48 kobo gain when compared to the N393.83/$1 that it closed on the previous trading day.

READ: Nigeria faces prolonged exchange rate crisis as oil prices remain stuck at $40

  • The opening indicative rate was N393.96 to a dollar on Tuesday, representing an 11 kobo gain when compared to the N394.07 that was recorded on Monday, January 18, 2021.
  • The N396 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before it closed at N393.35 to a dollar. It also sold for as low as N390/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window declined by 61% on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover dropped from $69 million on Monday, January 18, 2021, to $26.83 million on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
  • The average daily forex sale for last week was about $169.93 million, which represents a huge increase from the $34.5 million that was recorded the previous week.
  • The exchange rate is still being affected by low oil prices, dollar scarcity, a backlog of forex demand, and a shaky economy that has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • There are fears that the exchange rate at the black market might be under pressure in the coming weeks as importers scramble for dollars to meet their demands.

READ: Naira falls at black market despite over 100% improvement in dollar supply

Oil price steady rise

Brent crude oil price is currently at $54.88 per barrel on Monday, as it moves towards the $60 mark, a strong sign that global demand could sustain price increases in 2021.

  • Nigeria’s crude oil price benchmark for 2020 was $40 while it projected an oil production output of 1.8 million barrels per day.
  • Nigeria has a production capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day but is subject to OPEC’s crude oil production cuts, which are expected to help sustain higher oil prices.
  • The higher oil prices and steady production output have positively impacted Nigeria’s external reserves, rising sharply to $36.304 million according to central bank data dated January 14, 2020.
  • This is the highest level since July 2020 and a sign that higher oil prices and steady output levels may be contributing significantly to Nigeria’s foreign exchange position.

READ: A summer of higher food prices, limited room for monetary policy

Nigeria rising external reserves

  • The external reserve has risen to $36.3 billion as of January 15, 2021, suggesting that the government may have taken receipt of the $1-1.5 billion World Bank Loan.
  • The external reserves have increased by $1 billion since December 31, 2020, when it closed the year at $35.3 billion.
  • The unification of the exchange rate was previously cited as a major requirement for receiving the world bank facility.
  • Nigeria needs the external reserves to hit $40 billion if it is to adequately meet some of the pent up demand that has piled up since 2020 when oil prices crashed and the pandemic caused major economic lockdowns.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Naira starts week at N411/$1 as oil price finally hits $70

Naira depreciated against the US Dollar on Friday as it closed at N411 to a dollar at the NAFEX window as oil price rallies to $69.36 per barrel



Naira stabilizes at black market as CBN continues its intervention in forex market

Friday 5th March 2021: The exchange rate between the naira and the US Dollar closed at N411/$1 at the Investors and Exporters window, where forex is traded officially.

Naira depreciated against the US Dollar on Friday as it closed at N411 to a dollar at the NAFEX window, representing a 1.11% decline when compared to N406.5/$1 recorded on the previous day.

Meanwhile, the naira remained stable against the dollar in the parallel market to close at N480/$1 on Friday, March 5, 2021. This was the same rate that it closed on the previous trading day (Thursday).

Forex turnover, however, increased by 25.3% on Friday to stand at $83.93 million compared to $66.99 million recorded on Thursday, while crude oil prices are edging closer to the predicted $70 per barrel in the global oil market.

READ: The Nigerian economy is increasingly dollarized but there is a way-out

Trading at the official NAFEX window

The Naira depreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Friday to close at N411/$1. This represents a N4.5 loss when compared to N406.5 recorded on the previous trading day.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N412.5/$1 on Friday. This represents a N1.4 drop when compared to N411.1/$1 recorded on Thursday.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N415 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before it closed at N411/$1. It also sold for as low as N392.5/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window rose by 25.3% on Friday, March 5, 2021.
  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover increased from $66.99 million recorded on Thursday, March 4, 2021, to $83.93 million on Friday, March 5, 2021.

Cryptocurrency watch

The world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin gained 2.33% to trade at $50,044.64 as at 10.27 pm on Sunday, 7th February 2021. a come back from it severe dip recorded last week.

  • Meanwhile, Ether ETHUSD, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, rose by 0.75% to $1,663.5 on Sunday, 7th March 2021.
  • Ether’s value has moved fast over the past 24-hours. After breaching above $1,500 towards the late hours of Friday, the asset managed to position itself above $1,600 within the next 24-hours.
  • Ethereum is currently pushing towards the $1700 mark at press time, while most altcoins are far-behind on the daily returns.
  • According to a recent report, Nigeria has seen about a 15% surge of activity in peer-to-peer transactions since the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a circular reminding financial institutions in Nigeria about the prohibition in crypto-related transactions.
  • Also, another report showed that Nigeria led Africa’s peer-to-peer transactions in the last 30 days, as it posted monthly P2P volumes of about $31 million, followed by the Kenyans and Ghana each posting about $12.1 million and $8.4 million respectively.

READ: SEC reacts to CBN’s ban on cryptocurrency transactions

Oil prices edge closer to $70 per barrel

Brent Crude oil rose by 1.98% early Monday morning to close at $70.73 when compared to $69.63 recorded on the previous trading day.

  • Oil price has recorded a significant increase since Thursday after OPEC+ decided to hold off on easing production cuts for another month, surprising the oil market.
  • Oil prices have extended the gains recorded on Thursday after the OPEC+ meeting, as Brent Crude and WTI gained an additional 3% on Friday upon the 3% gain recorded in the previous day.
  • This comes close $70 per barrel, predicted by Goldman Sach earlier in the month of February 2021.
  • WTI Crude closed at $67.41 (2.00%), OPEC Basket $62.15 (+0.29%), Bonny Light $67.69 (+2.37%), and Natural Gas $2.701 (-1.64%).

External reserves persistent decline

Nigeria’s external reserve continued its decline as it dropped by 0.11% on Thursday, 4th March 2021 to stand at $34.88 billion compared to $34.92 billion recorded as of March 3, 2021.

  • This represents the lowest reserves position since December 8, 2020, when it stood at $34.84 billion.
  • The current reserves also represent a $495.98 million decline when compared to $35.37 billion recorded as of 31st December 2020.
  • Worthy of note is the fact that Nigeria’s external reserve has continued to record declines since the month of January despite the increase in the price of crude oil in the global market. This might be attributed to the CBN forex market intervention aimed at managing the country’s exchange rate volatility.

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CBN explains why it introduced cash for dollar scheme



Banks' stakeholders express 4 main concerns bothering the sector right now, CBN, MARKET UPDATE: CBN’s historic agriculture lending; Is it yielding the desired results? 

In a series of tweets on the evening of the 6th of March, the Twitter handle of the Central Bank of Nigeria explained why it offered the  Naira4Dollar Scheme in favour of diaspora Nigerians who are seeking to inflow money into Nigeria.

We had a fair look at the tweets that we have annotated for our readers. Here it goes.

1. Consistent with the global trend, Nigeria aspires to ensure that remittance flows and diaspora investments become a significant source of external financing.

What this means: The CBN is essentially admitting that foreign remittances (from Nigerians abroad) is important to boosting dollar liquidity. 

READ: CBN issues modalities for payout of diaspora remittances in dollars

2. In an effort to reduce the cost burden of remitting funds to Nigeria by working Nigerians in the Diaspora, the #CBN has introduced a rebate of N5 for every $1 of fund remitted to Nigeria, through IMTOs licensed by the CBN. The Scheme will take effect on the 8th of March 2021.

What this means: The target of the CBN are Nigerians in the diaspora who they want to offer N5 for every $1 remitted to Nigeria. While the target is diaspora remittances, the people who will benefit are their family, friends, or loved ones who withdraw the money from the bank. 

3. We believe this new measure will help to make the process of sending remittances through formal bank channels cheaper and more convenient for Nigerians in the diaspora. #Emefiele

What this means: They opine that sending remittances through Nigerian banks ends up being cheaper and convenient. In reality, they appear to be targeting other channels of remitting money to Nigerians. For example, rather than pay excess transfer charges, you transfer the money through a Nigerian bank and then get an extra N5 for each dollar. However, they will have to contend with thousands of Nigerians who simply embark on peer-to-peer exchanges. Nigerians who live in the US or Canada often prefer to sell the dollars to Nigerian living in Nigeria but who need dollars abroad.

READ: The Nigerian economy is increasingly dollarized but there is a way-out

4. New FX policy will create an easier, more flexible, and more transparent, system of remittance administration, it will greatly enhance the benefits of diaspora remittances in supporting investments and growth in Nigeria. #Emefiele

What this means: This is essentially a promo pitch. It is all about competing for your remittances. They want you to route through the bank rather than the black market.

5. Policy on the administration of remittance flows is aimed at increasing the transparency of remittance inflows, reducing rent-seeking activities, and providing Nigerians in the diaspora with cheaper and more convenient ways of sending remittances to Nigeria. #Emefiele.

What this means: This is a veiled attack on other competing and probably more beneficial ways of remitting money to Nigeria. Increasing Transparecy is basically allowing the CBN to track dollar inflows from Diaspora Nigerians and see which sectors it is flowing into.

READ: New CBN Circular: CBN confirms only Banks can pay IMTO dollars

6. PwC forecasts suggest that Nigeria’s remittance flows could reach US$34.89 billion by 2023. But this can only be accomplished if remittance infrastructure improves and if the right policies are put in place.

What this means: Interesting to note that the PWC forecast quoted by the CBN is based on data obtained from the World Bank and IMF, who in turn also base their data from the CBN and other sources. 

7. The use of reimbursements of remittance fees has been critical in supporting improved inflow of remittances to countries in South Asia and in improving their balance of payments position following the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: CBN expects $24bn annual diaspora remittances – Emefiele

What this means: The CBN appears to have modeled this new scheme on similar policies in Asian countries. Bangladesh also has a similar scheme.




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