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Central bank sells N98bn treasury securities to keep naira liquidity tight

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Nigeria’s central bank sold 98 billion naira of treasury securities on Thursday to keep liquidity tight to support the currency, a day after it auctioned 133.25 billion naira of T-bills, traders said.

The local naira currency has been stable for more than two weeks, supported by central bank interventions, foreign inflows and tight liquidity on the money markets, traders say.

On Thursday, the bank sold the 91-day bill at a higher interest rate of 16 percent plus a 196-day bill at 17.81 percent.

At Wednesday’s auction, it sold 10.25 billion naira of a 91-day bill at an interest rate of 13.1 percent, 11 billion naira of 182-day bills at 15.3 percent and 112 billion naira of one-year paper at 15.59 percent.

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Total subscriptions were 194.6 billion naira.

The money market has been short of liquidity for more than a week due to central bank action to mop up naira following the recent maturity of some 86 billion naira of treasury securities, traders said.

The currency was quoted at 305.60 on the official market on Thursday, a level around which it has closed for more than three months. It traded at 360 per dollar for investors and at 363 naira on the parallel market.

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