Naira may ease against US dollar, increased demand

Oyetunji Abioye with agency report

The naira may ease against the United States dollar next week at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Investors and Exporters Foreign Exchange Window due to increased demand as companies seek to repatriate dividends after the end of the earnings season, coupled with portfolio investors taking profits.

Forex traders said the naira eased to 361 on Friday at the I&E window, from the 360 levels it had maintained for over six months, as some forward currency contracts matured amid tight dollar liquidity.

On the official market, the naira was quoted at 305.70, supported by the CBN’s regular intervention. One lender traded the currency at 314.50/dollar on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The local unit closed at 362/dollar at the parallel market on Friday, the same level it has closed since Monday.

The CBN had on Wednesday injected the sum of $210m into the inter-bank foreign exchange market in continuation of its efforts to sustain liquidity in the market.

The apex bank offered the sum of $100m to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market.

The Small and Medium-scale Enterprises segment received the sum of $55m, while the sum of $55m was apportioned to invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance.

The CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the figures and reiterated the bank’s capacity to continue to sustain the foreign exchange intervention.

Okorafor urged Deposit Money Banks to continue to honour requests from customers with genuine needs, noting that the bank would continue to sustain liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

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