Naira appreciates marginally at interbank market, dips at parallel market

Despite losing grounds to the dollar at the parallel market to exchange for N480/$ as against the N473 last week, the Naira on Wednesday appreciated marginally against the dollar at the interbank market, gaining 25k to exchange at N305.

Trading on the floor of the Bureau De Change saw the Naira sold at N399 to a dollar, CBN controlled price, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N585 and N506 respectively. The Naira continued to nosedive at the parallel market, closing at N480 to a dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N580 and N505 respectively.

Traders at the market said they have been trading under acute Forex shortage. A BDC operator, Mr. Harrison Owoh, said there had been sustained fall in the sale of foreign currencies to BDCs for two weeks running.

Owoh attributed the shortage to the fall in inflow into the country. He said, “For two weeks running, BDCs have been getting $8,000 instead of 15,000 weekly dollar sale from Travelex.”

Meanwhile as the scarcity of foreign exchange gets stronger at the parallel market, the value of the naira dipped further selling at N480 to the dollar yesterday while the value remained stable at the interbank market.

The naira had remained relatively stable around N465 and N470 at the parallel market last week before it dipped to N473 on Friday last week which it also sold on Monday. Meanwhile, the external reserves of the country continued to rise steadily despite the activities of the militants in the oil rich Niger Delta region.

This according to traders may be due to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision not to intervene in the interbank market by selling dollars to shore up the value of the naira. The external reserves which had dipped to a low of $23.89 billion as at October 19, 2016 has risen by 3.33 per cent.

Latest figures given by the apex bank on its website showed that the 30 day moving average of the country’s external reserves stood at $24.695 billion as at November 28, 2016.