Country's economic news as foreign investors repatriating profits and others exiting the Nigeria equities and bond markets last week triggered a rise in foreign exchange (forex) disbursement by leading banks.
Many of the investors, after liquidating their investments, secured forex to repatriate their funds through Stanbic IBTC Bank. The lender Disbursed $19,305,571.50 to 68 customers, according to published disbursement data for last week.
JPM London secured $3,331,564.24 from Stanbic IBTC for its divestment ofequities and Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds. There was also $2,010,690.01 disbursed to State Street/Stanbic Nominees-E by the lender for the same purpose.
BP2S/BNP Pribas obtained $130,167.61; Standard Bank of South Africa, $541,671.31; Merrill Lynch International $63, 767.89; HSBC Funds Services London, $394,210.30; and The Bank of New York Mellon 2, $206,317.82.
The foreign investors have been pressurising the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to devalue the naira, which it has vehemently resisted. Last week’s repatriation of investments is expected to continue in the months ahead as the margin between the official exchange rates has continued to widen.
The naira/dollar exchange rate remained unchanged at N197 to dollar at the CBN and N199.50/US$1 at the interbank market. At the Bureau-De-Change, the naira appreciated against the dollar marginally on all trading days of last week, with the Naira/Dollar rate trending lower from N322.00/$1 on Tuesday (appreciating N1 from Thursday) to close at N320/$1.00 on Friday. The parallel market was also stable as Naira/Dollar traded for N323/$1 on all trading days save for Wednesday when it rose marginally to N324.00/$1.
Stanbic IBTC also disbursed $6 million in three tranches to Rain Oil for the importation of petroleum products and $1,082,440.37 to GZ Industries Limited for aluminum coils import and $100,000 in Personal Travel Allowances (PTAs) to 25 customers.
Diamond Bank led other lenders with $20,084,368 disbursed to 222 customers, mainly for school fees payment, PTAs and importation of petroleum products.
Zenith Bank Plc disbursed $13, 107,525.71 to 362 customers. The lender disbursed $3,646,399.15 to Tiger Branded Consumer for Canadian Milling Wheat. Virgin Atlantic got $1 million for air ticket sales remittance.
Oando Marketing secured $360,000 in two tranches for importation of petroleum products. The bank also made disbursements to Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc; Sonia Foods Industries Limited; Emerging Markets Telecom Services; Boulous Enterprises Limited; Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. There were several Personal Travel Allowances (PTAs), among others.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc also disbursed forex to 242 customers. Some of the big beneficiaries are: Total and Eterna Oil which accessed $1,201,649.61 and $1, 449,358.03 restively. The lender also funded $1 million remittance tickets for IATA and several other transactions for school fees payment.
FirstBank disbursed $6 million in two tranches to Gulf Treasures Limited for the importation of petroleum products. There was also $1.943,612.48 disbursed to Elephant Group Limited for NPK -15-15-15 bulk importation. The bank also disbursed to customers for the payment of school fees and PTAs.
Other lenders that got forex are Diamond Bank, GTBank, First City Monument Bank, Wema Bank.
The funds were sourced from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and sold to the beneficiary customers at the official rate of N197.50 to dollar. The beneficiaries used the funds for the importation of goods, services and other items that fall within the CBN-stipulated import approval list.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele has consistently assured stakeholders that the country will continue to meet financial obligations to foreign investors and her international trading partners.
The weekly publications on forex utilisation are meant to promote transparency and accountability on the side of the lenders, which act as a link between the regulator and the forex users.