External Reserves Surge by $993m, Hit 8-month High of $34.11bn BUSINESS | 5 hours ago

Recent data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reveals a notable uptick in external reserves, growing by $993 million within a month and reaching an eight-month peak.

As of March 7, 2024, the external reserves stood at $34,110,027,381, compared to the previous month’s figure of $33,116,051,881 recorded on February 8, 2024.

Analysis of the data indicates that the reserves had been relatively hovering around $32 to $33 billion over the past eight months, with the current March 7 record marking the highest point since June 30, 2023, when the reserves reached $34,119,447,986.

CBN had last week reported a surge in overseas remittances, reaching $1.3 billion in February, a substantial increase from the previous month’s $300 million.

Acting Director of Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali had stated that foreign investors acquired over $1 billion worth of Nigerian assets in the same month adding, “Total portfolio flows for the year amounted to approximately $2.3 billion, compared to the $3.9 billion recorded in 2023.”

Ali had emphasised the heightened foreign exchange inflow in February, driven by increased remittance payments from Nigerians abroad and foreign portfolio investors’ interest in naira assets.

She noted that the trend continued into March, propelled by rising investor interest in short-term sovereign debt following adjustments to benchmark interest rates.

Ali highlighted oversubscribed government securities issuances, with foreign investors contributing over 75 per cent of bids received at auctions conducted on March 1 and 6, 2024.

CBN Governor Mr. Olayemi Cardoso outlined a comprehensive strategy during last month’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting and a conference call with foreign portfolio investors, aiming to curb inflation, stabilize the exchange rate, and boost confidence in the banking system and the overall economy. Cardoso expressed satisfaction with the initial results, stating, “Our objective today is to ensure that the market has supply, that the market functions, and that investors can come in and go out.”

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