Naira gains 7%, now 211 to dollar

02 April 2015, Lagos –

The naira appreciated by seven per cent to 211 against the United States dollar at the parallel market following the victory of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in Saturday’s presidential election.

The local currency, which sold for 228 against the dollar before the election, rose to 211 on Wednesday, Bureau de Change operators said.

The Acting President, Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said he expected the naira to rise further.

He said, “I think the trend will continue. The naira may appreciate from 211 to something below 197 currently at the interbank market.”

Foreign exchange dealers said the demand for dollar had reduced compared to what happened before the presidential election.

A currency analyst at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ezun, said the market had been trading around the general elections and Buhari’s person.

He said, “The market has been trading around sentiments and emotions, this is why the naira is appreciating; nothing has really changed in the fundamentals. There was high demand for the dollar before the election because some people predicted post-election violence. Now, the game is over and there is no violence. So, the demand for the greenback is abating.

“The market is also trading around the sentiment that Buhari will fight corruption, strengthen institutions and eliminate wastages. But after his inauguration, the market will trade around the fundamentals like the oil price, external reserves and others.”

The naira-dollar exchange rate has yet to witness any change at the interbank market.

On Wednesday, the local currency closed at 197 to the dollar, a level it had traded at since February after the Central Bank of Nigeria pegged the rate following a de facto devaluation.

Meanwhile, yields on the Federal Government bonds fell sharply on Wednesday with the five-year bond down 101 basis points after Buhari was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the winner of the presidential election, dealers said.





– Punch

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