According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the primary market recorded a rise in interest rates for the first time in 3 months. The rise was recorded in the recent 13th May auction as interest rates rose to 2.5% (+35%) and 2.85% (+16%) for the 91-day and 182-day tenor respectively when compared to the preceding auction1. The rise in interest rates can be attributed to lower demand given that investors are seeking for safer assets in more stable currencies in these unprecedented times. Bearing in mind that the government aims to mobilize domestic funds following a shift in debt sourcing, this will increase the cost of borrowing for the government. In addition, considering that the interest rate on T-bills is the benchmark interest rate, the rates of other commodities including bonds and equities are expected to rise. The rise in interest rate will increase the need to save for households, thus lowering consumption and increase the cost of borrowing for firms, thus reducing investment. The overall effect will be a negative impact on economic growth.
June 3, 2020
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 20)
The falling tide in the international value of Naira experienced a reversal in the review week with naira appreciating significantly by 11 percent from N516/$ on February 17, 2017 to N460/$ on February 24, 2017 at the parallel market the first appreciation since December 2016. The recent rise in naira value was driven by forex supply-demand gap closure, sequel to improvements in dollar liquidity. The recent CBN Special intervention (e.g. the auction and sale of $370 million and $1.5 million respectively, by the apex bank during the week) and its revised forex policy guidelinescontributed in dousing speculations in the parallel market, thus gradually narrowing the margin between the interbank and parallel market rates. Given that the sustainability of naira appreciation is strongly hinged on the improvement in foreign reserve which is largely dependent on crude oil sales, the government should continue its efforts at calming tensions in the Niger Delta region.