14 March 2016, Lagos — The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it will sell treasury bills of N1.73 trillion in the second quarter of the year.
The apex bank stated this in its Nigeria Treasury Bills Issue programme released on Thursday.
Treasury bills (TBs) are short-term (less than one year) debt instruments used by the CBN to borrow from the public on behalf of the federal government. The CBN also uses TBs to control the money supply in the economy.
The TB issue programme commences on March 17, and ends on June 2nd, 2016. During the period, the apex bank will issue N303.78 billion worth of 91 days TBs, N169.99 billion worth of 182 days TBs, and N599.63 billion worth of 364 days TBs.
These, however, represent the amount of TBs that would mature for payment during the period.
A breakdown of the programme revealed that in March, the apex bank plans to sell N261.62 billion worth of TBs, comprising N68.12 billion worth of 91 days bills, N37.23 billion worth of 182 days bills and N156.27 billion worth of 364 bills.
In April, the apex bank plans to sell N386.41 billion worth of TBs, comprising N92.19 billion worth of 91 days bills, N68.49 billion worth of 182 days bills, and N225.73 billion worth of 364 days bills.
From May 5 to June 2nd, the CBN plans to sell 405.4 billion worth of TBs comprising N123.47 billion worth of 91 days bills, N64.25 billion worth of 182 bills and N217.68 billion worth of 384 days bills.
Meanwhile the amount of idle cash (excess liquidity) in the interbank money market, where the bank lends money to each other, fell by 50 percent to N222.46 billion on Friday from N448.47 billion at the beginning of the week.
This prompted cost of funds to rise with an interest rate on short-term lending (Overnight and Secured) rising to 5.0 percent from 3.0 percent in the previous week. Commenting on this development, Cowry Asset Management Plc stated in its weekly financial market review and outlook, “In the just concluded week, Nigerian Offered Interbank Rates increased for all tenor buckets amid a strain in financial system liquidity. Central Bank of Nigeria sold N160.66 billion in 213- day treasury bills via Open Market Operations (OMO).
“Also, standing deposit facility (SDF) rates decreased week-on-week (w-o-w) by 47.90 percent to N325.67 billion while a standing lending facility (SLF) of N3.76 billion suggested that banks resorted to the lender of last resort in the review week as against zero SLF booked in the preceding week.
“The overnight funds rate, NIBOR for 1 month, 3 months and 6 months increased to 5.31 percent (from 3.29 31 percent), 7.7831 percent from 7.41 31 percent), 9.0831 percent (from 8.93 31 percent) and 10.97 31 percent (from 10.57 31 percent) respectively. This week we expect an increase in interbank lending rates on anticipated financial system outflows via investment in FGN local currency bonds.”
*Babajide Komolafe – Vanguard