Sanusi’s Efforts Worthless as Naira Hits Year Low 

The naira retreated for a third day, set for its lowest closing level in more than a year, in the absence of central bank intervention and foreign-exchange sales from oil companies.
The currency of Africa’s biggest crude producer declined 0.7 percent to 163.35 per dollar as of 2:24 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, its worst level since June 2012 on a closing basis. The naira has fallen 4.4 percent against the dollar this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Foreign exchange sales from oil companies have so far remained benign this week” and “offshore support has certainly dissipated given the current global environment,” Samir Gadio, an emerging-markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd. in London, said in e-mailed comments. “The market expected that the Central Bank of Nigeria would intervene and sell dollars directly to the banks, but this didn’t happen.”
Debate among Federal Reserve officials over whether to reduce monetary stimulus has roiled financial markets since May. Oil companies in Nigeria, which sell the U.S. currency mainly at the end of the month to pay domestic expenses, are the second-biggest supplier of dollars after the Abuja-based central bank. The regulator auctions foreign exchange on Mondays and Wednesdays. It sold $563.5 million this week, compared with $548.4 million in the previous five days.
The central bank occasionally sells dollars directly to lenders on the interbank market outside of its weekly auctions. Nigeria’s foreign-exchange reserves have slid 4 percent to $46.9 billion on Aug. 27 from a high this year of $48.9 billion in May, according to central bank data.
Borrowing costs on Nigeria’s domestic bonds due January 2022 fell eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 13.6 percent, according to yesterday’s data compiled by Bloomberg.

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