Nigeria tightens rules for retail bureaux de change, naira falls
Nigeria’s central bank on Friday revised the rules for operating retail bureaux de change in a bid to tighten regulation to curb speculation after the long slide in oil prices hit its dollar reserves and currency .
The naira was trading at a new low of 260 to the dollar among most retail money exchange operators on Friday as against 255 on Thursday. On the official interbank market, it traded at 199 at 1227 GMT, close to a rate at which it has been pegged since February.
The circular, which will come into effect in January in Africa’s biggest economy, orders retail money exchanges to deposit a mandatory cautionary deposit of 35 million naira in an account with the central bank, in addition to a minimum capital requirement of 35 million naira.
The central bank has been struggling to shore up its naira currency hard hit by the plunge in oil prices, Nigeria’s main export, which started late last year.
The new guideline is the latest measure which has cramped dollar demand and the banking sector.
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