Central bank rolls over N208.6 billion maturing T-bills

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rolled over N208.6 billion Treasury Bills across all maturities at the Primary Market Auctions.

The marginal rates across tenors closed higher at 11.1 per cent, 11.6 per cent and 12.9 per cent for the 91-day, 182-day and 364-day tenors respectively.

This compared with previous auction marginal rates of 9.7 per cent, 11.4 per cent and 12 per cent. The higher rates indicate increasing investor appetite for higher yields in compensation for the country’s riskiness.

The apex bank had asked banks to back all Treasury Bills bids with customer demand.

The directive is part of the bank’s plan to improve lending to domestic economy. In the past, banks have bought government debt rather than assume risk by lending.

The CBN barred banks from buying bills for their own accounts at an open market auction held, a move intended to force them to lend rather than invest in government debt.

The bank is stepping up a campaign to get credit flowing. Last week, it limited the size of interest-bearing deposits it would hold for banks, the latest in a series of measures aimed at reviving an sluggish economy.

The CBN, which had not issued market stabilisation bills for about a week before Friday’s auction, told banks bids must be backed by customer demand.

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(The Nation)