• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Naira falls to N472/$ as market reacts to banks’ dollar spending limits

Naira falls to N472_$ as market reacts to banks’ dollar spending limits

The naira slumped by the most in at least a year on the black market after banks announced restrictions to international spending on naira cards. The move by banks has been widely interpreted as a sign of Nigeria’s worsening dollar crunch and is likely to pile further pressure on the black market rate.

The naira on the black market weakened by 0.4 percent to N472/$ as of noon Tuesday from N470/$ Monday, according to data from AbokiFx, which collates rates from street traders. This is around 2 percent weaker than the rate at the start of the month.

In a move reminiscent of a strategy adopted in 2016 in the wake of the collapse in crude oil prices, some Nigerian banks have reduced the amount of money that can be spent abroad on the naira cards to around $200 and $500 per month, depending on the lender.

With demand backlog building up and few dollars to go around, Nigerians are forced to patronise the parallel market for both transactional and speculative ends.

READ ALSO: Naira strengthens against dollar after holiday

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Monday said the moves to devalue the naira from N360/$ to N382/$ would result in better dollar inflow and cut supply leading to an appreciation of the naira.

Foreign investors are, however, constrained by their inability to exit their positions in the economy due to low dollar liquidity, a situation that is also affecting dollar inflow into the economy.

“The CBN is yet to fully intervene in the market. The strategy of the CBN is to conserve the reserve as much as possible until the global economy balances,” said Olaolu Boboye, an economist at CSL Stockbrokers Ltd.

“If today the CBN comes to supply FX to all the investors in the orderly manner it promised, outflows will increase but investors’ confidence will be back that the Nigerian economy is liquid,” Boboye said.