LAGOS, March 23 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s central bank said on Thursday it sold one-year treasury notes at 18.69 percent, above inflation rate for the second consecutive time in a bid to maintain positive yield and attract investors.
The bank said it raised 83.16 billion naira by issuing the one-year bill, which it had sold at a yield of 18.55 percent at its previous auction on March 15.
Nigeria forecasts a budget deficit of 2.36 trillion naira in 2017, half of which it aims to fund through domestic borrowing. It has been trying to keep costs down as it grapples with the country’s first recession in 25 years amid galloping inflation.
Annual inflation in Africa’s biggest economy fell for the first time in 15 months to 17.78 percent in February but remained outside the central bank single-digit target.
It raised a total of 134.96 billion naira from a treasury bill auction on Wednesday.
Outstanding total debt rose to 17.4 trillion naira last year from 12.6 trillion in 2015 and is set to increase further. The government plans to increase public spending by almost 20 percent this year, funded through borrowing.
The debt office on Thursday said it raised 2.07 billion naira from a new two-year savings bond sold to retail investors, as it tries to broaden the country’s funding base.
The central bank issues treasury bills twice a month to finance the government’s budget deficit and help lenders manage liquidity and curb inflation. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Chijioke Ohuocha and Ed Osmond)