Banking and Finance

Investors Cheer Nigeria Currency Shift, Want More

Nigeria's recent tentative steps to free up its naira currency, particularly via a new trading window, have gone down well with some adventurous stock and bond investors who are cautiously returning to the markets they fled two years ago, Reuters reports.

Once considered one of the most promising emerging markets, Nigeria was hammered when it introduced draconian foreign exchange restrictions to counter the effects of the 2014 oil price crash.

FG Revenues Rise in May Due to Higher Corporate Tax Proceeds

Nigeria's distributable government revenues rose to 462.4 billion naira ($1.43 billion) in May from 415.7 billion naira in April due to higher proceeds from corporate taxes, a government statement said on Thursday.

Distributable revenue is government income that is shared at various levels of state including the federal government, state governments and local government councils.

The revenues were boosted by "significant increases in revenues from companies income tax," said the statement issued by the accountant general.

Budget: Expert Worries Over Financing of ₦2.36b Deficit

A Financial Expert, Mr Akintunde Sowunmi, has expressed concern over the strategy the Federal Government has mapped out to finance the N2.36 billion deficit in the 2017 budget.

Sowunmi, who is the Lead Financial Consultant for the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria yesterday in Abuja.

The 2017 budget has an expenditure outlay of N7.44 trillion.

FG Seeks Improved Revenue Collection to Fund Budget

Nigeria seeks to improve its collection of revenues from taxes and customs duties to fund the country's record 7.44 trillion-naira ($22.99 billion) 2017 budget, the minister of budget and national planning said on Monday.

Africa's largest economy has been in recession since last year, largely due to low oil prices and militant attacks on the country's Niger Delta energy facilities. Oil sales usually bring in two-thirds of the government's revenue, Reuters reports.

CBN Considers New FX Retail Option, Sells $195m at Auction

The Central Bank of Nigeria is contemplating introducing a new FOREX retail option in Nigeria, just as it released another $195million into the market today.

The bank last week released   $800 million, making a total of $995million injection, in eight days.

The bank hoped that the fund will adequately meet the requests of customers in the various segments of the market.

The acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said in a statement in Abuja that the bank would soon introduce a new FOREX retail option. He did not elaborate.

Central Bank Predicts Improvement in Economy

Nigeria’s troubled economy will record tremendous improvement by the third quarter of the year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has predicted.

The Director of Banking Supervision of CBN, Mr Ahmed Abdullahi, told newsmen that the prediction was the outcome of the 333rd Bankers’ Committee meeting in Lagos.

According to him, this is because the foreign exchange rate has remained stable as there is convergence between the official and parallel markets.

Exchange Bureau Head Urges Rate Unification

Nigeria's central bank must step up efforts to unify the country's multiple exchange rates to sustain gains in the local currency over the last few months, the head of the country's exchange bureaus said, Reuters reports.

Africa's biggest economy has at least six exchange rates which include one for Muslim pilgrims going to Saudi Arabia, a retail rate set by licensed exchange bureaus, and a rate for foreign travel and school fees, in addition to the official and black market rates.

Debt Office to Sell ₦140b Bonds

Nigeria plans to auction 140 billion naira ($460 million) in bonds on June 21, the Debt Management Office said on Friday.

According to Reuters report, the debt office will sell 40 billion naira of bonds due in 2021 and 50 billion naira each of bonds due in 2027 and in 2037, using a Dutch auction system.

Settlement is expected the day after the sale. The bonds are re-openings of previous issues.

The central bank on Wednesday announced plans to sell 133.24 billion naira worth of Treasury bills at an auction next week.

Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Drops

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says that the country’s inflation dropped to 16.25 per cent in May from 17.24 per cent in April.

The NBS made this known in its “Consumer Price Index (CPI) May 2017’’ report released on Thursday in Abuja.

According to the bureau, this is the fourth consecutive decline in the rate of inflation since January.

On a month-on-month basis, the bureau stated that the Headline index increased by 1.88 per cent in May 2017, 0.28 per cent points higher than the rate of 1.60 per cent recorded in April 2017.

Investor FX Trading Hits $2.2b in Six Weeks

Nigeria's central bank said on Thursday its new currency window for investors had handled $2.2 billion of trade in six weeks, but it had accounted for almost 30 percent of that trade itself as it worked to keep the window operating, Reuters reports.

Nigeria is battling a currency crisis brought on by low oil prices, which has tipped its economy into recession and created chronic dollar shortages. Africa's biggest economy wants to attract foreign investors and at same time maintain a strong currency to ward off inflation.

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