By Nume Ekeghe
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the weekend made an intervention of $268.4 million in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) and CNY 46.3million in the spot and short-tenored forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market (FX).
This was disclosed by the Director, Corporate Communications Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Isaac Okorafor, who revealed that the intervention was for requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors. The Chinese Yuan, on the other hand, was for Renminbi denominated Letters of Credit.
Okorafor, in a statement, further expressed satisfaction over the stability in the foreign exchange market which according to him, was largely due to sustained intervention by the Bank.
He assured that the Bank would remain committed to ensuring that all sectors of the FX market continue to enjoy access to the needed FX.
Meanwhile, $1 exchanged for N360 at the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market, while CNY1 exchanged at N54.
Aggregate FX inflow through the CBN had amounted to US$14.51 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, and indicated 12.3 per cent and 1.3 per cent increase over the levels in the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2017, respectively.
The increase reflected the rise in both oil and non-oil receipts, including proceeds from government debts, TSA, third party receipts, interest on reserves and investments, unutilised funds from foreign exchange transactions, unutilised IMTO funds and other official receipts.
But aggregate outflow through the CBN, fell to US$14.60 billion, from US$16.94 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, but increased above the US$8.38 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The decline in outflow relative to the preceding quarter, reflected the fall in inter-bank utilisation, external debt service, forex special payment and SDR charges.
Overall, a net outflow of US$0.09 billion was recorded through the Bank, compared with US$4.02 billion in the preceding quarter and a net inflow of US$5.94 billion in the corresponding period of 2017, respectively.
Aggregate foreign exchange inflow into the economy amounted to US$27.64 billion at end-December 2018, indicating an increase of 2.8 per cent and 7.1 per cent, above the levels in the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2017, respectively.
The development was as a result of the 12.3 per cent increase in inflow through the Central Bank of Nigeria. Oil sector receipts, which accounted for US$3.02 billion, indicated a decrease of 14.5 per cent below the level at the end of preceding quarter but an increase of 9.2 per cent above the level at the end of the corresponding period of 2017.
Non-oil public sector inflow, at US$11.49 billion (41.6 per cent of the total), rose by 22.5 per cent above the level at the end of the third quarter of 2018, but declined by 0.6 per cent, below the level in the corresponding period of 2017. Autonomous inflow, at US$13.13 billion, fell by 6.1 per cent and 14.8 per cent below the levels at the end of the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2017, respectively
Inflow from autonomous sources accounted for 47.5 per cent of the total.
At US$15.54 billion, aggregate foreign exchange outflow from the economy fell by 12.7 per cent below the level in the preceding quarter, but was 69.0 per cent higher than the level in the corresponding period of 2017.