Naira Hits ₦1,000/$ Ahead Of CBN Sale To BDCs

Having opened at N1,130 to the dollar on Monday morning, the value of the naira gained strength midday as traders anticipate another round of dollar sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators this week.

By noon on Monday, the naira was selling at N1,000 to the dollar at the parallel market. Last week Monday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had offered $15.88 million to BDC operators at N1,101 to the dollar, pushing up the value of the naira on the streets.

The CBN sells dollars to the BDCs at the lower band of rate quoted on the Nigeria Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM). Last week Friday the value of the naira was between N1,265 and N1,100 to the dollar.

In anticipation of another liquidity push out by the apex bank, the value of the naira which opened trading activities on the parallel market at N1,130 to the dollar had firmed up to N1,000 by midday.

This corroborates with the projection of US Bank Goldman Sachs which at the weekend projected that the naira will be trading at N1,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc, had projected that the naira will be among the best performing currencies in the world.

Having predicted in February that the naira would strengthen to N1,200 per dollar this year, Goldman economists, say they see it potentially advancing beyond that level after a raft of measures by the central bank.

Those included 600 basis points of cumulative interest-rate increases at policy meetings in February and March, as well as other steps to ease the local scarcity of dollars that fanned volatility and forced companies to the parallel market.

Goldman’s Andrew Matheny told Bloomberg Newswire in an interview that “this probably can run further; we would see an extension of the move to 1,000 and maybe even sub-1,000, six weeks have gone by and they’re continuing to hold the line, so that’s encouraging.”

The group maintains its 12-month forecast for the naira at 1,200 per dollar, owing to uncertainty around the ability of the authorities to maintain the reform tempo, though it now sees risks to that upbeat projection.

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