CBN Stretches Full Length to Save Naira, Sells $600M

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offered $600 million at its twice-weekly forex auction, its highest offer in two years, to shore up the value of the ailing naira currency, dealers said yesterday. The figure compared with $400 million at the previous auctions. The central bank offered $700 million at a currency auction in September 2011. The central bank has been battling to support the naira which has lost 2.4 percent this year, pressured by a surge in dollar demand from offshore investors selling assets amid a wider emerging market pullback. The naira fell to a record low against the dollar last week at N167. Nigeria and other emerging and frontier markets have been hammered by a widespread sell-off after the U.S. Federal Reserve began to reduce its stimulus, which had kept global markets flush with cash. The currency, stocks and bonds were hit last week.

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