By Babajide Komolafe
THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will this week mop up N310 billion through sales of treasury bills. Meanwhile, Demand for Nigeria’s Eurobond on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) persisted last week translating to price appreciation across tenors.
Treasury bill sales
In continuation of its liquidity management efforts, the CBN will sell treasury bills worth N310 billion this week comprising: 91-days bills worth N26.14 billion; 182-days bills worth N62 billion and 362 billion worth N222 billion.
The treasury bills sales will offset the effect of maturing treasury bills worth N248 billion during the week.
According to Afrinvest analysts, the treasury bill will be oversubscribed due to the attractive interest rates attached to each bill.
Analysts at Cowry Assets Management Limited however projected that the treasury bills sale will not have adverse effect on the volume of liquidity in the interbank money market due to outstanding inflows from the N465 billion statutory allocation funds shared last week by the Federation Allocation Accounts Committee (FAAC).
CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele
Last week the interbank money market experienced unprecedented scarcity of funds triggered by outflow for dollar purchases, with short term cost of funds rising up to 200 percent on Thursday before retreating to 15 percent on Friday.
In its weekly review of financial markets, Afrinvest Plc explained: “System liquidity oscillated during the week, closing the first trading day with a negative balance of N175.3 billion. The largest withdrawal from system liquidity occurred on Tuesday as the CBN announced FX forwards sales worth $370.0m which saw money market rates (OBB and OVN) close the day at 128.3 per cent and 132.0 per cent respectively.
“On Wednesday rates moderated to 30.8 per cent and 33.7 per cent but a further FX sales worth $230.0m by the CBN pressured Open Buy Back (OBB) and Over-Night ( OVN) rate to 111.6 per cent and 133.3 per cent on Thursday. OBB and OVN rates settled at 13.1 per cent and 14.1 per cent respectively on Friday, down 4.7 per cent and 4.5 per cent week-on-week(W-o-W) respectively.
“Performance in the Treasury Bills market was largely bearish due to tighter system liquidity during the week. Average yield trended higher on most trading sessions, up 36bps on Monday but eased by mid-week as system liquidity improved. Nonetheless, average rate raised 55 basis points (bps), week-on-week (W-o-W) closing at 16.9 per cent on Friday.
Demand for Eurobond persist: Meanwhile Nigeria’s Eurobond continued to enjoy price appreciation on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) due to persistent demand by foreign investors.
The 5-year, 5.3% $500 million JUL 12, 2018 bond, appreciated by $1.25 (yield fell to 4.94 per cent) while the 10-year, 6.38% $500 million JUL 12, 2023 bond appreciated by $2.08 (yield fell to 5.68 per cent). Also, the 10-year, 6.75 % $500 million JAN 28, 2021 bond gained $0.16 (yield dropped 3.59 per cent). Commenting on this development, Afrinvest Plc said: “Positive sentiments filtered across Sub-Saharan (SSA) sovereign instruments as yields fell across the Nigerian, Ghana, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Zambia, Senegal, and South African instruments –save for the South African 2024 and 2041. The Nigerian 2023 instrument emerged the best performer under our coverage with a year-to-date (YTD) return of 6.4 per cent.
“Despite the downgrade of some Banks by Fitch Ratings Agency amid a successful issuance of the $1.00bn Nigerian Eurobond, the Nigerian Corporate Eurobonds have been experiencing positive sentiments. This week saw positive performance filter through a range of instruments as yields fell on all Corporate Eurobonds but for the ACCESS 2017 (yields rose 11bps) and FIRST BANK 2021(yields rose 2bps). Nonetheless, the DIAMOND 2019 remains the best performing with YTD return of 13.3 per cent.
“Similar to the Treasury Bills market, sentiments in the local Bonds market was bearish this week as average yield closed higher on 4 out of 5 trading sessions. This was largely due to the relatively tight system liquidity as well as CBN’s FX forwards sales during the week. Eventually, average yield closed the week at 16.2 per cent indicating a 17bps appreciation W-o-W.”
House Reps warns contractors on CBN’s intervention projects
The House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency last week warned contractors handling the various intervention projects of the CBN in the educational sector to stick to the specifications and timelines of the projects as contained in their contracts.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Jones Onyereri gave this warning at the of the committee’s oversight visit to the CBN’s project locations in Lagos State.
He said that the Committee would not accept any deviation from the contractual agreements nor agree to any variation to the contract sums.
The Committee however commended the CBN intervention projects in the educational sector affirming that it will add value to Nigeria’s economic development aspirations.
The intervention project sites visited by the Committee included the three blocks of two and three-storey hostel buildings and an adjourning 500-seater auditorium at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Topo, Badagry and the multi-complex faculty, hotel and auditorium facilities at the University Of Lagos Centre Of Excellence. The facilities are part of the CBN’s commitment to building capacity for the nation’s banking industry.
The oversight visit was in furtherance of the Committee’s constitutional responsibility and legislative mandate of supervising agencies of government under its purview.
CBN, NIBSS seek increased efficiency in payment systems
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) have reiterated commitment to increased efficiency in the nation’s payment system. Deputy Governor (Operations), CBN, and Chairman of NIBSS, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu stated this while addressing journalists at the Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) 2016 awards in Lagos at the weekend.
Adelabu stated: “We decided to recognise those operators who have contributed immensely to the efficiency and effectiveness of the payment system in 2016, thereby encouraging them to do more in 2017. I am actually excited about recent developments in the payment system.
“We have come a long way and we have grown so fast. Nigeria has been identified as the leader in Africa because of the advancement we have made in the payment system and I foresee faster, more rapid and more efficient payment system in the coming years, given the calibre of operators we have in Nigeria.”
Also speaking, Managing Director/Chief Executive, NIBSS, Mr. Ade Shonubi, said: “Every year we look at the past 12 months and we encourage banks with light competition, where we look at the efficiency and how well they have done in terms of increase in volume and efficiency.
Volume and efficiency
We have seen significant improvement in efficiency across most of the platforms. The error rate in PoS transactions which have been a very big problem for us has dropped significantly. The telcos have provided better network services and the banks have improved their system as well.”
The EPIS ‘Most Customer Experience (Electronic Payment Platform Experience) Award was won by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Also, Zenith Bank won the ‘Cashless Driver Bulk Payment’ and the ‘Cashless Driver PoS Transaction’ awards, while the ‘Cashless Driver Instant Payment,’ ‘Cashless Driver PoS Issued Cards Transaction,’ and three other awards went to GTBank.
Ikeja Disco won the Cashless Drive Merchant award; Lagos states also won the Cashless Driver Government, while Benin Electricity Disco was rewarded with the Cashless Driver Corporate award. Several other firms were rewarded at the event.