Naira appreciates by N13 to N445/$

 News By: Tony    Friday, March 17, 2017


By Babajide Komolafe

The naira yesterday recorded its biggest appreciation against the dollar in the parallel market in three weeks, gaining N13 to close at N445 per dollar.

Vanguard investigations revealed that the sharp appreciation of the naira was due to decline in demand prompted by the sustained injection of dollar by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) into the foreign exchange market.

Confirming this development, a bureaux de change chief executive, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity said: "The market is paralysed. There is no demand at the moment. We have collected dollars from the CBN, but people are not coming to buy like before. So people are keeping their dollars. But we expect the situation to change by tomorrow."

The appreciation implies that the naira has gained N15 against the dollar this week in the parallel market. The steady appreciation is driven by the sustained intervention of the CBN via regular dollar sales to banks to meet demands for visible and invisibles like Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA).

Meanwhile the CBN yesterday said that it has offered and received bids for $100 million from authorized dealers in the interbank market to meet the requests of genuine customers.

Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, disclosed this yesterday, adding that the sales will be settled on today. He, however, disclosed that no intervention was made by the CBN to meet requests for invisibles on Thursday.

Okorafor reiterated that the CBN will continue to make necessary interventions in the interbank market to meet all legitimate transaction-based foreign exchange demands by customers. It will be recalled that the Bank in its last auction sale offered $150 million to the interbank market with the highest bid rate at N335 per dollar while the marginal rate was N320 per dollar.

Since Monday February 20th2017, when it announced new measures to boost dollar supply and forestall the declining fortunes of the naira in the parallel market, the CBN has injected $2.25 billion by intervening in the forex market eight times as follows:

Tuesday February 21st, $417 million; Thursday February 23rd, $231 million; Monday February 27th, $180 million; Friday March 3, $350 million; Monday March 6, N367 million; Tuesday March 7, $100 million; Thursday March 9, $170 million; Tuesday March 14, $190 million and Wednesday March 14, $150 million.