FX Records Zero Gap as Dollar Sells for N1,615

Naira Against Dollar
Naira Against Dollar

FX Records Zero Gap as Dollar Sells for N1,615

The foreign exchange (FX) recorded zero (N0.01) gap between the official and parallel market as the dollar was quoted at N1,615 across markets on Wednesday.

Data released by the FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that the dollar was quoted at N1,615.94 while it quoted at N1,615.93 at the parallel market, commonly referred to as black market.

At the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) on Wednesday, naira lost 0.78 percent as the dollar was quoted at N1,615.94, weaker than N1,603.38 quoted on Tuesday.

The intraday high closed at N1,635, on Wednesday marginally stronger than N1,637 closed on Tuesday, while the intraday low fell to N1,500 on the same day as against N1,425.35 per dollar on Tuesday.

Dollar supply by FX market players including banks, exporters, investors and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), increased significantly but could not shore up the value of the naira.

Consequently, the daily FX market turnover rose by 103.59 percent to $248.75 million on Wednesday from $122.18 million recorded on Tuesday.

Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the CBN said in February 2024 that the Nigerian foreign exchange market is currently facing increased demand pressures, causing a continuous decline in the value of the naira.

Factors contributing to this situation include speculative forex demand, inadequate forex supply due to non-remittance of crude oil earnings to the CBN, increased capital outflows, and excess liquidity from fiscal activities.

To address exchange rate volatility, he said a comprehensive strategy has been initiated to enhance liquidity in the FX markets. This includes unifying FX market segments, clearing outstanding FX obligations, introducing new operational mechanisms for BDCs, enforcing the Net Open Position limit, and adjusting the remunerable Standing Deposit Facility cap.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, which held on February 26 and 27, 2024, raised the MPR by 400 basis points to 22.75 from 18.75 per cent, adjusted the asymmetric corridor around the MPR to +100/-700 from +100/-300 basis points, raised the Cash Reserve Ratio from 32.5 percent to 45.0 per cent, and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

According to analysts at Cordros Research, despite recent policy actions by the CBN, the currency remains under pressure due to a frail market supply. However, they are optimistic about the pace of market reforms and the CBN’s interventions.

The CBN has reduced the forex backlog by providing an additional $200 million, bringing the backlog to around $1.60 billion. Cordros Research commends the CBN’s initiatives aimed at making naira assets attractive to both foreign and domestic participants, driving capital importation and investments over speculation.

They believe that these measures, along with clearing the forex backlog, could improve dynamics in the forex market and lead to enhanced liquidity in the medium term.

Source: BusinessDay