The foreign exchange utilisation for the months of September and October 2016 revealed Ecobank and Access bank plc leading other lenders.
Ecobank which took the first position in September utilised a total of $111.2 million in foreign exchange. It also took the second position in October with a total of $134.9 million or 15.55 percent of the total.
Access bank emerged the first lender to spend a total of $162.0 million or 18.67 percent foreign exchange in October 2016, in September of the same year; it took the second position spending a total of $93.6 million or 14.18 percent.
The 24 financial institutions in the country utilised a total $660.1 million foreign exchange in September 2016, while a total of $867.8 million was utilised in October the same year.
Standard Chartered bank took the third position in both months under review, utilising $76.6 million in September and $78.6 million in October 2016.
Coronation and FBN Merchant bank took the 23rd position in the months under review. They utilised $79,252.07 and $303,501.77 in foreign exchange in September and October 2016 respectively.
The Naira was steady against the USD by -53 percent Year To Date at the Inter-bank market. The spot rate closed at N305.50/US$. Up to May 31, the exchange rate was pegged to $/N199, reinforcing CBN’s commitment to a managed foreign exchnage rate.
It depreciated in the parallel market, and fell to a historic low of N490/US$, further widening the gap between the parallel and interbank rates (which closed at N305.5/US$).The CBN liberalised the exchange rate with the introduction of flexible exchange rate regime in June 2016.
The CBN sold about US$1.56 billion in forward auction via Special Secondary Market Intervention Retail Sales (SMIS). Some of the foreign exchange related policies and regulations in 2016 include sales of Foreign Currency Proceeds of International Money Transfer to BDCs subject to a maximum of US$30,000 to a BDC per week; and Selling Rate by the Banks to BDCs shall be Buying Rate from International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) plus a margin not exceeding 1.5 percent.
In a strategic business review released by Ecobank, money market related policies and regulations in 2016 include reduction in Cash Reserve Requirements (CRR) to enhance bank’s liquidity for real sector financing in January 8, 2016; guidelines for the Operations of Treasury Single Account (TSA) by State government in February 29, 2016, write-off fully provided Non- Performing Loans (NPLs), and acceptance of cheques deposit into saving account with Bank Verification Number (BVN) in June 28, 2016; Provisioning for foreign currency loans in June 27, 2016; and restriction from accessing CBN’s discount window on the settlement date for government securities auctions.