Interbank lending rate jumps to record high

Interbank lending rate jumps to record high
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

 The overnight interbank lending rate soared to a record high of 128 per cent on Monday on naira cash shortages after commercial banks  funded their account with the Central Bank of Nigeria to participate in last Friday’s currency forward auction.

Overnight rates opened at 100 per cent on Monday, traders said, after the money market ended on Friday with no deals as commercial lenders held onto naira to be able to participate in the auction, Reuters reported.

The CBN has been tightening liquidity and intervening directly with dollar sales to banks  to support the ailing naira, as the economy has been hit by the fall in oil prices.

The CBN had on Friday held a two-month dollar forward auction to clear a backlog of demand from airlines, manufacturers and other companies, as the naira crisis deepened.

However, it debited customers’ naira accounts on the day of the auction but would deliver the dollars in two months’ time, traders said, adding that the move had soaked up liquidity from the money markets.

The central bank intervened again on Monday with dollar sales to support the naira, which ended at 305.50 per dollar, traders said.

Meanwhile, the Debt Management Office has borrowed N95bn ($312.50m) at an auction of local currency bonds, according to the DMO data

The DMO said the 2021 maturing debt attracted higher yield, while the 2026 and 2036 papers fetched lower returns.

The debt office sold N10bn of the 2021 paper at 15.29 per cent, compared with 15.14 per cent at the previous auction last month.

The DMO had initially offered N35bn of the five-year bond.

It also sold N45bn of the 2026 debt at 15.47 per cent, lower than 15.53 per cent, and N40bn of the 2036 debt at 15.48 per cent, compared with 15.59 per cent.

The debt office sold more than the initially advertised amount of N35bn apiece for the 2026 and 2036 papers at the auction, Reuters reported

Investors had demanded yields ranging between 12 per cent and 17 per cent for all the debts on offer, but the debt office was not willing to pay more for the debts, one trader said.

The Federal Government has said it will borrow about N900bn locally to finance part of the N2.2tn deficit in the 2016 budget.

The DMO issues local bonds as part of measures to finance the government budget deficit and also to help manage liquidity in the banking system.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it is planning to borrow N1.77bn via Treasury bills in the last three months of the year.

In its fourth quarter Treasury bill issuance programme, the apex bank said it would raise about N815.37bn, comprising 91 days, 182 days and 364 days’ debt instruments.

In addition to the above, the central bank is also planning to borrow about N952.05bn as rollover in the three categories of the instruments.

The Federal Government distributes revenues from crude exports and taxes among the three tiers of government every month.

Source: PUNCH

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