The naira hit another record low of 241 against the dollar at the parallel market on Monday as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s restrictions on foreign exchange sale fuelled unofficial trade in dollars, Reuters reported.
The ban on importers from accessing the Nigerian foreign exchange markets for the importation of 41 items had led to the volatility of the naira-dollar exchange rate at the black market.
Since June 23 when the new forex rule became operational, the naira has fallen by 10.5 per cent from 218 to 241 against the greenback.
Foreign exchange dealers said the artificial scarcity of the United States currency still pervaded the market.
The new forex rule had led to huge demand at the parallel market, causing dealers to hoard the dollar in anticipation of further fall in the naira
Economic analysts had said the CBN needed to devalue the naira to allow the local currency achieve an equilibrium price against the dollar.
The central bank had however said it would not be focusing on the thinly-traded parallel market when determining the exchange rate, adding that people preferred to use the unofficial market for undocumented transactions.
Foreign investors had been on the sideline, waiting for the CBN to devalue the naira before investing in naira-denominated assets.
Local and foreign analysts had predicted that the naira might hit 250 against the dollar at the parallel market any time soon if the artificial scarcity trend continued.
The central bank appears to be in a fix as the spread between the official and parallel market continues to widen by the day.
Meanwhile, stocks fell to a more than three-month low and the naira on Monday, Reuters reported.
The local bourse, which has the second-biggest weighting after Kuwait on the MSCI frontier market index, dropped for the ninth consecutive day as investors shed banking, consumer and oil shares.
Source:: New Mail