The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN yesterday deepens forex market with $297 million in other for the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) segment of the forex market raising the total intervention for the week to $547 million.
Confirming the figures, the CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, disclosed that the bank was resolute in its determination to intervene in the forex market with the aim of uplifting the naira exchange rate, boost liquidity in the forex market and ensure timely execution and settlement for eligible transactions.
Okoroafor, an acting director in the Corporate Communication department of the apex bank, expressed confidence that the interventions would continue to guarantee stability in the market and ensure forex availability to individuals and business concerns with genuine demand.
The CBN had earlier intervened in the Inter-Bank Foreign Exchange Market to the tune of $195 million in three segments of the market. In the wholesale segment of the inter-bank Forex market, it sold $100m and uplifted the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisible segments, with $50 million and $45 million respectively.
Responding to enquiries earlier in the week, Okoroafor had hinted that the apex bank would increase liquidity in the market in the coming days, noting that the move was necessary to enhance stability in the forex market.
Also, the nation’s foreign exchange reserves showed appositive figures as it hits a 30-month high at $31.59 billion, as at August 18.
The apex regulator CBN’s data shown Nigeria’s dollar reserves have climbed back to a level they last reached in January 2015, shortly before the general elections. The bank, however, did not provide the reason for the increase.
Nigerian assets, largely shunned by foreign investors over the past three years, have attracted significant amounts of capital after the CBN in April liberalised the exchange rate for investors.
The forex buffer stood at $25.73 billion, up by 20.77 per cent from a year ago, but is still far off a peak of $64 billion hit in August 2008.