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External reserves rose to $46.2bn in March – CBN

External reserves rose to $46.2bn in March – CBN

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Oyetunji Abioye

The nation’s external reserves rose by 8.8 per cent month-on-month to $46.2bn as of March 28, the Central Bank of Nigeria data showed on Saturday.

The country’s foreign exchange buffer has climbed by 53 per cent since March 2017 when it stood at $30.30bn.

Successful debt sales, including an Eurobond offering last month, have helped the Federal Government to accrue billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves.

Analysts said the figure remained far from the peak of $64bn the country recorded in external reserves in August 2008.

The Debt Management Office had raised $2.5bn in Eurobonds in February and expects more to follow.

The external reserves had hit $43.2bn on March 6, data on the CBN website showed.

The reserves, at the beginning of 2018 stood at $39.3bn, and then rose to $42.8 in February.

The foreign exchange reserves had recorded a four-year high at $42.76bn on March 2, after commencing this year at $38.77bn.

The foreign exchange buffer of the CBN has continued to increase recently over steady increase in global oil prices and federal government Eurobond borrowing, among others.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had projected that the reserves might hit $60bn in 2019, if the trend persisted.

He said increases in the price and shipment of oil, Nigeria’s biggest foreign-currency earner, and improved investor confidence, meant the CBN could build its reserves to $60bn over the next 12 to 18 months.

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