28 March 2015, Lagos – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Thursday, said it raised N97.8 billion ($491 million) in Treasury bills at an auction that fetched lower yields compared with the previous sale last week owing to strong appetite for the debt.
Investors, mostly domestic banks and pension funds, submitted bids totalling N297.06 billion, three-times more than the CBN had advertised but demanded yields ranging from 10 per cent to 18 percent.
The bank said it sold N14.03 billion in 91-day notes at 10.69 percent, compared with 10.79 percent at the previous auction on March 18.’
It auctioned 10.61 billion naira in 182-day bill at 14.5 percent, compared with 14.7 percent previously while it raised 73.16 billion naira in the 1-year note at 14.85 percent, down from 15.35 percent at the last auction.
Meanwhile, data from the CBN website indicated that the nation’s external reserves has dropped below $30 billion for the first time since 2006.
According to the CBN, Nigeria’s gross external reserves stand at $29,917,445,438, while the net reserves is $29,003,198,465 after deduction of amount blocked per excess crude.
The external reserves has been on a decline for the past six months as the continuous decline in oil price has reduced the amount of foreign exchange accruable to the government. This has worsened as the demand for dollars soared since December 2014.
*Sola Alabadan – Daily Independent