Naira steadies at interbank, parallel markets

The Naira has stayed firm at N455 to the dollar in the black market, and N305 to the greenback at the interbank foreign exchange market on Monday, October 24.

The local unit on the average last week held ground against dollar in both markets, to appreciate by 1.31 per cent in parallel market and by 0.98 per cent in interbank FX market as against 2.96per cent appreciation recorded in parallel market and 0.33per cent depreciation recorded in interbank market.

However, the naira specifically appreciated on Friday against the dollar at the parallel FX market by 0.22 per cent to close at N453.00 and N455 in some parts of Lagos, but traded flat at interbank FX Market to close at N304.75.

Also, unofficial c currency dealers said the naira exchanged for N495 to the Euro and N550 to the British Pounds Sterling.  This is even as the local currency at the official window sold for N373.7 to the British Pounds and N332.7 to the Euro.

The Central Bank of Nigeria appointed Travelex and FirstBank Nigeria Limited as the only two institutions responsible for the sale of the greenback to Bureau De Change (BDC), operators in its bid to ensure improved dollar supply to the foreign currency traders. This followed the suspension of 19 other commercial banks from same role as a result of their failure to fully comply with a directive, which required commercial banks that act as agents of international money transfer operators to always sell foreign currency remittances to licensed BDC operators.

Market watchers believe the continued sale of dollar to BDCs had played significant role in new trading pattern observed last week. However, speculative tendency and scarcity of FX remain the driving factors depressing the value of Naira.

while the currency is yet to find its support level as trading activities had indicated in both markets.

Dealers at Cowry Assets Management Limited said Nigeria’s central bank  last week  sold around US$314 million in a two-month forward auction to clear backlog of dollar demand meant for payment of matured obligations for importation of raw materials, machineries and equipment, and spare parts in the agricultural and industrial sectors; ticket sale remittances for airlines; as well as to finance new letters of credit (LCs).