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External Reserves rise to $33.1bn, Highest Since 2015

By Kayode Tokede, Lagos

The nation’s external reserves hit $33.1 billion on October 11, following increased in global oil prices to $54 per barrel.

External reserves monitored by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) accretion in 2017 can be linked to higher oil exports and increased activity in the investor exporter window.

The price of Organization of Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of 14 crudes countries stood at $54.44 per barrel on Thursday, the highest this year.

Hitting $33.1 billion on Wednesday, the highest in 2017, the external reserves have gained $610 million or 1.89 per cent from $32.49 billion it opened in October.

For the third quarter of 2017, the external reserves gained $6.6 billion or 25.7 per cent from $25.8 billion it opened January to $32.49 billion, the highest in 31-month.

However, in the second quarter, it rose by $4.44 billion or $17.2 per cent to $30.28 billion despite CBN sustained pressure in bridging the gap between official foreign exchange and parallel market rates with the introduction of several foreign exchange windows.

Experts had said steady increase in global oil prices continued to impact on CBN’s foreign exchange buffer and the nation’s economy at large.

CBN spokesman, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, had noted the increase in external reserves can be attributable to peace in the oil-rich Niger-Delta region of the country, which resulted into increased oil output and earnings.

Okorafor said with the sustained interventions, the apex bank has been able to push foreign exchange demand away from the parallel market into the formal regulated market.

With the increase in external reserves, Naira at the foreign exchange market continued to appreciate.

Analysts at Cordros capital, a Lagos based research and security firm, said, “We expect the naira to appreciate against the Dollar in the parallel market and the I&E window, as interventions by the apex bank persist, amid steady accretion to the foreign reserve – supported by relatively bullish outlook on oil price and production in the near term – in addition to inflows from portfolio investors.”

The post External Reserves rise to $33.1bn, Highest Since 2015 appeared first on leadership.ng.

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