By Peter Egwuatu & Elizabeth Adegbesan
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has scheduled Treasury Bills, TBs, sales worth N1.06 trillion with effect from next week to year end.
Meanwhile the apex bank has resumed the sale of foreign exchange, forex, to banks in order to clear the backlog of unmet demand said to be in excess of $1.5 billion after many weeks of absence from the foreign exchange market.
Treasury Bills are short term (less than one year) debt instruments used by the CBN to borrow money from the public on behalf of the federal government. The CBN also uses TBs to control money supply in the economy.
The apex bank’s latest TB Issue schedule shows that the programme commences on September 10, and ends on November 26, 2020.
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During the period, the apex bank will issue TBs worth N95.3 billion on 91 days tenor, N113.4 billion on 182 days and N709.9 billion on 364 days.
A breakdown of the programme revealed that in September, the apex bank plans to sell N287.32 billion worth of TBs, comprising N6.91 billion worth of 91 days bills, N22.4 billion worth of 182 bills and N258.01 billion worth of 364 bills.
In October, the apex bank plans to sell N353.24 billion worth of TBs, comprising N48.7 billion worth of 91 days bills, N31.72 billion worth of 182 days bills, and N272.82 billion worth of 364 days bills.
In November, CBN plans to sell N278.5 billion worth of TBs comprising N40.2 billion worth of 91 days bills, N59.3 billion worth of 182 bills and N179 billion worth of 384 days bills.
Vanguard gathered that earlier this week the CBN intervened at the investors and exporters (I&E) window of the forex market, causing the naira to appreciate significantly from N480/$ to N420/$.
Market sources said the interventions would continue until the backlog is cleared.
The naira was quoted at N 435 per dollar in the parallel market on Thursday, after it gained almost 10% on Tuesday. It traded at N386.48 on the over-the-counter spot market. The apex bank sold around $50 million to foreign investors on the spot and forward markets this week in a test trade to gauge the level of demand and said it will resume sales to retail currency operators next week. It was also gathered that in order to stimulate forex liquidity, CBN has been intervening at the I&E window, where on Tuesday it sold $5 million and also sold the same amount on the window yesterday.
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