LAGOS May 22 Nigeria's central bank plans to
sell $100 million at a special wholesale spot and forwards
auction on Monday as it tries to improve dollar liquidity and
ease pressure on the naira.
Africa's largest economy, grappling with a currency crisis
brought on by low oil prices which have hammered its foreign
reserves and created chronic dollar shortages, has resorted to
regular injections of dollars by the central bank to narrow the
spread between the official and black market rates.
It has sold more than $4 billion to various sectors of the
economy since the central bank started intervening on the
official market in February, which currency traders say has
increased liquidity in the official market and helped to ease
pressure on the naira.
Traders, citing a notice from the regulator, said the
currency forwards being auctioned on Monday would be settled
within 60-days and backed by customer demand.
The naira was quoted at 381.91 per dollar at
the investor window on Monday, according to the market regulator
FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange.
It was quoted at 315 a dollar on the official interbank
market by commercial lenders, while it trading at 380 a dollar
on the black market.
The naira has firmed on the black market from its record low
of 520 to the dollar in February, before the central bank's
intervention in the foreign exchange market.
(Editing by Alexis Akwagyiram and Alexander Smith)