Naira To Trade Within Narrow Range In Coming Days

Naira To Trade Within Narrow Range In Coming DaysThe Naira is expected to trade within a narrow range in the coming days, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) injecting more dollars into the market.

The local currency was quoted at 463 Naira per dollar on the black market on Friday, weaker than the 450 Naira to a dollar level last week.

Commercial lenders quoted the Nigerian currency at 305 Naira 80 Kobo to a dollar on the inter-bank market, compared with 305 Naira 50 Kobo it closed at last week.

News also came in during the week that the Federal Government in its Economic Growth Recovery Plan, said the current ban on 41 items from accessing Foreign Exchange (FX) in the inter-bank FX market would be reviewed.

The influx of dollar into the market is part of plans by the apex bank to narrow the margin between official and parallel market exchange rates.

This followed the latest data by the CBN which revealed that Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange Reserves which have experienced a steady increase since January 5, 2017 rose above $30 billion this week.

Experts attributed the increase to the recovery in crude oil prices which have soared, following the output cut deal agreed between OPEC and Non-OPEC members on January 1.

The last time the reserves crossed the $30 billion mark was in July 2015, where it went as high as $31.63 billion in August 2015 before it began to decline.

Nigeria’s Forex Reserve Rises By $40 million       

Forex ReservesNigeria’s forex reserve rose by 40 million dollars in March on a 30-day moving average basis to 27.9 billion dollars.

This is on the back of oil price climb to 40 dollars a barrel.

In an analyst note released on Tuesday by the investment bank FBN Quest, the modest increase in the reserve was also attributed to the government’s plugging of leakages in revenue and finances.

During the month under review, Central Bank’s foreign currency sales remain unchanged at 200 million per week to commercial banks while importers were also surveyed to have cut back on orders, adopting a realistic position on forex supply at the Central Bank.

CBN Adds To Forex Prohibition List             

forexThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has added overseas school fees and medical tourism to its list of items prohibited from the interbank foreign exchange window.

This brings the items on the forex prohibition list to 43 in number.

On Thursday, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State recommended the addition of the two items to the list.

He was speaking at the Cable Newspaper colloquium in Lagos.

In reaction to the development, the naira has hit a record low of 325 to the dollar while the pound trades for 450.

This follows shortage of foreign exchange caused by importers scrambling for the greenback to meet their obligations overseas.

While traders expect the naira to weaken further in coming days, the CBN official exchange rate has remain unchanged at 197 naira to the dollar.