News Column

CBN to Auction N157 Billion Treasury Bills

May 12, 2014

Obinna Chima



As part of efforts to continue to manage the level of liquidity in the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will this Wednesday auction treasury bills worth N157.06 billion.

The periodic auction of the fixed income instrument is in line with the central bank's tight monetary stance and its resolve to keep inflation at single-digit.

A breakdown of the treasury bills to be auction showed that it comprises 91-day bills worth N22.06 billion; 182-day bills worth N30 billion; and 364-day bills worth N105.00 billion.

However, outflow from the system through the treasury bills auction would be countered by maturing bills at the Primary Market Auction as treasury bills worth N157.06 billion would mature this Thursday.

The maturing bills would consist of 91-day bills worth N22.06 billion; 182-day bills worth N30.00 billion; and 364-day bills worth N105.00 billion.

Meanwhile, a report by Cowry Asset Management Limited showed that the Nigerian Interbank Offered Rates (NIBOR) moved heterogeneously amongst the tenor buckets in the absence of major fund inflows.

On a weekly basis, NIBOR for one month and three months increased to 12.78 per cent, compared to the 12.56 per cent it was previously; and 13.58 per cent from 13.47 per cent respectively.

However, NIBOR for six months and average overnight rate moderated to 14.38 per cent from 14.39 per cent and 10.50 per cent from 10.54 per cent respectively.

Forex Market The naira was stable against the United States dollar at the Retail Dutch Auction System (RDAS) segment of the forex market last week, but appreciated against the greenback in other segments amid improved dollar supply.

This was largely influenced by the traditional month-end dollar supply by multinational companies operating in the country as well as noticeable decline in the appetite for the greenback.

At the RDAS, a total of $800 million was offered, but the regulator sold $738.45 million, which was 93.27 per cent higher than the $382.08 million sold the preceding week.

At the interbank market, the nation's currency strengthened against the greenback by 92 kobo to N160.05 as at Friday. The naira also gained N2.50 and N2.00 to N165.00 and N166.00 at the bureau de change (BDC) and parallel markets respectively.

"The rise in the value of the naira came against the backdrop of increased dollar sales by commercial banks in recent times.

Bond Market Trading in the bond market last week was significantly active as yields in the bond market continued to sway southwards driven by increased interest in the domestic bond market.

Despite, the mild swing experienced the preceding week, the overall trend continued to be positive.

Yields commenced the week flat with no major movement in prices on the first trading day of the week, a report by Afrinvest Securities Limited indicated.

Trading activities gained momentum significantly on the second trading day of the week and was sustained till the last trading day. The 9.20% FGN June 2014 and 4.00% FGN APRIL 2015 instruments received more interest as yields declined by 140 basis points apiece.

The 9.25% SEPT 2014 instrument followed suite loosing 100 basis points. The bond yields continued to take a free fall currently within the 10 per cent to 13 per cent range from 14.5 per cent in March 2014.

"The sustained influx of offshore funds is probably associated with the suave signal in the Fed's meeting. This is likely to be sustained in the medium term," the report added.

AMCON Debt Recovery The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) last week disclosed that it had recovered 112 per cent of its debt.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mustapha Chike-Obi who said this, expressed satisfaction that the corporation had been able to responsibly carry out its objectives.

Chike-obi said: "We have recovered about 112 per cent, we are recovering more than what we expected so far."

He further explained that the corporation can only buy bonds that the Central Bank of Nigeria designates.

Commenting on the anticipated sale of Enterprise Bank, the AMCON boss said: "We are going to sell Enterprise by May and we expect to have completed both sales by September.

"We cannot tell who the buyers because it would require regulatory approval- CBN, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other approvals."

Market Outlook Despite equaled reverse flows via transactions in the short term financial instruments, financial market analysts anticipate pressure on financial system liquidity from demand to fund forex transactions.

Therefore, the interbank rate is expected to increase in various tenors this week.

"This week, we predict sustained stability and likely appreciation of the local currency due to growing strength of the external reserves and winding down of dollar position by banks and their position holders who anticipate further appreciation of the local currency as they try to minimise their risk of exchange loss," Cowry Asset said.


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Source: AllAfrica


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