LAGOS, March 21 Nigerian interbank lending rates
fell 8.59 percentage points to an average of 10.41 percent on
Friday, from 19 percent last week, after a liquidity boost from
matured bonds and budget disbursals reached the banking system.
The central bank paid 300 billion naira ($1.82 billion) to
retire matured bonds on Wednesday, in addition to the disbursal
of government budget allocations and cash call payment to joint
oil production partners by state energy company NNPC.
Dealers said the cash balance that lenders hold at the
central bank opened at 527.21 billion naira in surplus on
Friday, compared with 158 billion naira a week ago.
"We see rates stable at the present level ... but the
outcome of the central bank's policy meeting next week could
alter liquidity," one dealer said.
Nigeria's central bank is likely to maintain a tight
monetary policy at its next interest-rate meeting on Tuesday, to
curb liquidity in Africa's second-biggest economy and support
Last week, the cost of funds shot up sharply to 19 percent
for overnight placement after Nigeria's Deposit Insurance
Corporation charged lenders about 100 billion naira for
insurance premiums against bank deposits.
The secured Open Buy Back eased to 10.25 percent, from 18
percent last week, 1.75 percentage points below the central
bank's benchmark rate of 12 percent.
The overnight placement and call money fell to 10.50 percent
each on Friday, compared with 19 percent and 20 percent,
respectively, last week.
($1 = 164.60 Naira)
(Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Chijioke Ohuocha,