Forex liquidity exceeds $42b
Nigeria may be sitting atop foreign exchange (forex) stockpile in excess of $42 billion from reserves’ accretion and the expected full inflow of the $3 billion Eurobond, which may have materialised.
At the weekend, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) indicated that the forex reserves in its coffers grossed $39.1 billion, a positive beginning for the 2018 fiscal year and an assurance for investor-community.
The Federal Government had floated a $3 billion Eurobond in dual tranches of different maturities that was oversubscribed at 6.5 per cent for $1.5 billion 10-year deal and 7.625 per cent for $1.5 billion 30-year deal.
The deal, which turned out to be cheaper than the earlier 15-year Eurobond deal, was aimed at funding the 2017 budget and refinancing of some part of the local debts.
Already, a $500 million part of the $3 billion Eurobond billed for local debt refinancing may have been received as the Debt Management Office affirmed that N198 billion in Treasury Bills have been redeemed.
Similarly, the nation’s forex reserves have been on an upward movement since October 2016- a 16-month period of weekly gains in the country’s buffers.
While the resurging profile of the nation’s reserves has been sustained in the period under review, the naira has also assumed a level of stability, as investors voluntarily trade in millions of dollars daily at the autonomous market segment.
According to the FMDQ OTC Securities and Exchange, despite the holiday mood, investors priced naira at N361.31 per dollar and transacted about $104.87 million daily at the popular Investors and Exporters’ Window as at weekend.
Meanwhile, this month might witness the unveiling of comprehensive framework for the coverage of all areas of interest of the resuscitated N500 billion Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) and N50 billion Direct Intervention Fund.
CBN Governor disclosing the plan, had said that due to the urgency of the programme, there might not be need to wait for a detailed framework, as there is already an existing one, which just needed an update to make it an encompassing document that covers all areas.
“The truth is that export season is currently on and we have given the CBN’s Development Finance Department and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) a maximum period of one week to come up with the framework.
“But we are not going to wait till then because we have enjoined the banks and exporters to send in request through NEXIM or directly from their banks to Development Finance Department for the processing to begin. So we have committed to them that once the requests get to us through the channels, those funds will get to them.
“The most important thing is that we made it clear to exporters that it is an opportunity for us to create jobs and earn more export revenues and that whatever they do will be heavily monitored. Again, that the benefits expected of the intervention must be realised,” he said.