External reserves gain $500m in one week, near $34bn

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Nigeria’s external reserves rose by $500m in one week to the highest point in more than two months, according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The reserves, which have been wobbling in recent weeks, jumped from $33.43bn on August 23 to $33.93bn on Monday, the highest since June 11.

The CBN data showed that the reserves fell to a record low of $33.09bn on July 12 from $34bn on June 10.

In a related development, the naira appreciated against the dollar on Tuesday at both the parallel market and the Investors’ and Exporters’ foreign exchange window.

The PUNCH had reported on Tuesday that the naira extended its decline on Monday, sliding to an all-time low of 527 against the dollar at the parallel market.

It, however, rose to 526 against the greenback at the parallel market on Tuesday.

The local currency, which had been on a downward trend in recent weeks, fell to 524/$1 last Friday from 522/$1 on Thursday.

At the Investors and Exporters’ window, the naira strengthened further to 411.08/$1 on Tuesday from 411.63/$1 on Monday, according to FMDQ Group.

The naira had strengthened to 506/$1 on August 4 after plunging to 525/$1 at the parallel market on July 28, a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria stopped foreign exchange sales to Bureaux de Change.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had on July 27, at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting, announced the stoppage of forex sale to the BDCs, saying they had turned themselves into “agents that facilitate graft and corrupt activities of people who seek illicit fund flow and money laundering in Nigeria.”

SOURCE: PUNCH

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