Interbank rates rise by 0.9% as cash shortage bites hard

Nigeria’s Interbank Offered Rates, NIBOR has jumped up by 0.9 per cent as a result of shortage of cash in the banking system.

In other to curtail excess liquidity in the banking system, the Central Bank of Nigeria sold about N63.98 billion of 7-month treasury bills at nine per cent last week. As a result of this, the open buy back (OBB) and overnight rates on Friday, April 16, closed the week at four per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively, up by 0.9 per cent each week-on-week.

Similarly, activities in the treasury bills market was mixed last week as average treasury bills rate closed at 7.3 per cent on Monday but rose 0.2 per cent to 7.4 per cent on Tuesday as liquidity levels dropped on the back of banks’ provisioning for forex auction.

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According to Analysts at Afrinvest West Africa, in the week ahead, money market rates would be dictated by liquidity dynamics as well as the provisioning and refunds for forex and open market operations (OMO) mop-ups. “There is a net treasury bills maturity of N167.5 billion on Thursday, the impact of this on liquidity levels is however expected to be offset by treasury bills auction of the same net amount.”

Also, the forex market last week enjoyed stability. Though the spread between the official and parallel market remained, the volatility recorded in rates earlier in the year has subdued. The CBN, however, is still unable to meet the dollar demands as seen in the amount returned by the CBN to the bank for unfilled bids at the forex auction.

The official rate at the CBN remained at N197/$1 whilst naira/dollar rates at the interbank stayed at N199/$1. The naira was stable at the Bureau De Change as it exchanged at N320.00/$1 on all trading days of the week. The parallel market also remained stable last week, as the naira traded at N323/$1 on all trading day of the week except Monday when it appreciated by N1 to N322.00/$1.