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CBN forex intervention depletes reserves by $804.9m in one week

Nigeria’s external reserve suffered a depletion of a whopping $804.9 million within the first seven days of the new FX market operation, this much the Daily Times gathered.

This massive depletion in a week of the nation’s reserve was as a result of the continued intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the new the new Foreign Exchange (FX) market.

The Apex Bank’s intervention was meant to boost liquidity in the market, through incessant sales of US Dollars on the interbank market.

As at the time CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele announced the new FX market, the nation’s external reserve stood at   $26.447

Billion. But as at June 27, the reserve was found to have declined to $26.367 billion at close of business.

The latest figures provided on the official website of the apex bank showed that foreign reserve as at the end of operations on Friday

June 24, stood at $26.415 billion as against the $26.36 billion on June 27 this year. This makes for a whooping difference of $481.35 million in just one day of business operation.

A comparison of the current statistics on the apex bank’s website showed that as at June 30, 2016, about $29.02 billion was recorded as against the $26.36 billion on June 27. This illustrates that the country’s reserves under the care of the apex bank has depreciated by $2.633 billion.

The data also proved that the balance of the nation’s reserve in 2015 of the same period, however brought the total drop of the reserves

between June 26, 2015 and June 27, 2016 to a whopping $2.65 billion, with balance of $26.36 billion against the $29.02 billion.

However, the external reserve some months ago, specifically in February 2016, had dropped by 0.8 percent or $232 million from $28.091 million to $27.859 million, while in the first month of the year, January 2016, it fell by three percent or $908 million from $29.069 million to $28.161 million.

The statistics further revealed that the external reserves depreciated in 2015 by 14.1 percent, moving from $34.46 billion as at

December 31, 2014 to $29.069 billion as at December 31, last year.

This shows that the decline was due to the fact that the level of inflow into the reserves was lower than the level of outflow during the period.

It is worthy to note that Nigeria’s reserves continued a steady appreciation, rising by 0.2 percent within seven days in March as global oil price rose to $40 per barrel at the time.

Reserves which had begun a slow recovery since February having declined to $27.789 billion, stood at $27.823 billion as at February 29, but rose to $27.879 billion as at Monday March 7, 2016, according to the data provided by the CBN.

However, the evolution of the foreign exchange demand, most especially

dollars in the country has been influenced by a number of factors such

as the changing pattern of international trade, institutional changes in the economy and structural shifts in production.

This includes foreign investors who have been pulling out of the Nigerian market which consequently has brought about a negative effect on the economy.

After weeks of gradual build-up, Nigeria’s external reserves have begun to deplete again, dropping by $30.23 million as foreign investors exit the Nigerian market.

The reserves had dropped to $27.858 billion within 11 days as at Friday, April 1, 2016 from $27.888 billion which it was on March 21, 2016, whereas the reserves had gradually risen since early February when it reached $27.894 billion.

Foreign investors repatriating profits and others exiting the Nigeria equities and bond markets had last week triggered a rise in foreign exchange disbursement by some banks.

Our investigations reveal further that many of the investors, after

liquidating their investments, secured forex to repatriate their funds

through Stanbic IBTC Bank. The lender disbursed $19,305,571.50 to 68

customers, according to published disbursement data for last week.

JPM London also secured $3,331,564.24 from Stanbic IBTC for its

divestment of equities and Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds.

There was also $2,010,690.01 disbursed to State Street/Stanbic Nominees-E by the lender for the same purpose.

BP2S/BNP Pribas obtained $130,167.61; Standard Bank of South Africa, $541,671.31; Merrill Lynch International $63, 767.89; HSBC Funds

Services London, $394,210.30; and The Bank of New York Mellon 2,


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