CBN injects $210 million in interbank forex market, issues licences to three new banks

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The Nigerian Inter-bank foreign exchange market received another boost of 210 million dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after transactions.

Isaac Okorafor, the CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, said this in a statement in Abuja.

Mr Okorafor said that the authorised dealers in the wholesale sector of the market received 100 million dollars, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the Invisibles segments were allocated 55 million dollars each.

He said the CBN remained pleased with the prevailing stability in the Nigerian foreign exchange market, adding that the CBN would continue its intervention in the foreign exchange market to ensure liquidity, stability and meet customers’ demand.

He said at the last trading, “The sum of 298.7 million dollars and CNY 39.6 million were injected into the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) and in the spot and short tenure forwards segments of the foreign exchange market.”

“The naira exchanged at an average of N357 to a dollar in the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the market”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, held on Monday welcomed the continued stability in the foreign exchange market

In a related development, the apex has issued licenses to three new banks set for operations in Nigeria.

Business Hallmark’s checks revealed that the three banks include two deposit money banks and one non-interest bank.

Checks on the website of the apex bank Tuesday morning showed that the two deposit money banks are Globus Bank Limited and Titan Trust Bank Limited.

The newly licensed non-interest bank, details showed, is TAJ Bank Limited.

Earlier in May, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was reported to have issued licenses to five new banks.

Although the apex bank did not come out to confirm the development, reports said it was being driven by the need to attract new investments into the sector and serve the country’s financially excluded people.

Some experts have, however, expressed reservations over the move, raising concerns around the huge non-performing loans the existing banks have had to contend with.

The licencing and final inclusion of the two new deposit money banks bring the number of banks in the country to 23, according to details on the website of the central bank.

The previously existing banks include Access Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Diamond Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, FIRST BANK NIGERIA LIMITED, First City Monument Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, and Heritage Banking Company Ltd.

Others are KeyStone Bank, Polaris Bank, Providus Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank Ltd., Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd, Sterling Bank Plc, SunTrust Bank Nigeria Limited, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank For Africa Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc, and Zenith Bank Plc.

Non-interest banks have also been updated to two, including the new TAJ Bank and Jaiz Bank.