External Reserves Hit $43.2bn, Says CBN

The nation’s external reserves hit $43.2bn on March 6, 2018, data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed on Wednesday.

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 reserves have gained about $3.99bn or 10.3 per cent this year.

The reserves had moved from $38.77bn in December 2017 to $40.69bn in January 2018.

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.

“Things are looking up. No one ever thought the price of crude would hit $70 in such a short period of time,” he said during an interview with Bloomberg.

The foreign exchange buffer added $12.9bn or nearly 50 per cent in 2017 despite the CBN weekly intervention.

The apex bank steady rise in the foreign reserve, from July 7 last year, could be attributable to improved foreign exchange inflow occasioned by increase in global oil price, dollar inflow from foreign portfolio investors facilitated by the Investors and Exporters foreign exchange window introduced by the CBN in April last year.

The price of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries basket of 14 crudes had stood at $63.25 per barrel on Wednesday.

Source: Punch

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