The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week sold a total of $130,755,294.59 to 14 commercial banks, four merchant banks and the Bank of Industry (BoI).
The amount was however lower by $5,283,163.58, compared with the $136,038,458.17 the banking sector regulator allocated to the financial institutions in the preceding week.
The amount is expected to reduce further going forward, following the new fuel price regime excluding the funding of importation of petroleum products from the official foreign exchange market.
Returns on forex utilisation published by the financial institutions last week showed that for the first time, United Bank for Africa (UBA) with $18,500,803.50 got the highest allocation from the central bank.
Forex returns published by the pan-African bank showed that it sold dollars to 224 customers last week. These were made up of individuals and corporates importing raw materials, industrial items and for the payment of school fees abroad.
Of the 224 customers on its list, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc was its biggest, as it bought $6 million for the importation of Brazilian cane raw sugar. Also, Stallion Motors Limited which bought $1,082,132; NFE Industries Limited – $1,454,269.80 and IATA – $1,500,000, were some of the other institutions that bought huge amount of dollars from the bank.
Coming in second place was Stanbic IBTC which was allotted $17,859,696.51. Just like previous weeks, the publication by Stanbic IBTC showed huge amounts of forex purchased for capital exportation from the equities, bonds and money markets. In all, 134 customers bought the greenback from the bank.
FirstBank of Nigeria Limited was allocated $14,215,272.40 to occupy the third place. The bank, which returns on forex utilisation showed that it sold dollars to 651 customers, also revealed that Dangote Cement Plc purchased $2 million from the bank for the importation of machinery spare parts.
Like the preceding week, Zenith Bank Plc retained the fourth place with a total allocation of $13,236,651.70. Its returns showed that it sold the greenback to 278 customers. Of this number, its biggest customer was Tiger Branded Consumer Goods Plc which purchased $1,285,774.87.
Diamond Bank Plc with $11,489,227 occupied the fifth position, just as its publication showed that it sold the greenback to 177 customers. Its biggest customer was A-Z Petroleum.
Standard Chartered Bank got $10,730,263 to hold on to the sixth position. A total of 222 customers purchased the greenback from the bank. Also, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) was allocated $8,918,388 to occupy the seventh place.
The CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, said at the weekend that the NSE was concerned about the volume of foreign portfolio investors’ exit and the potential for capital flight from the market.
“We are concerned, we are monitoring the situation, we are talking to investors – both domestic and foreign – we have ramped up our efforts in terms of government relations to report what we are seeing and to look for new ways and solutions that would continue to make our market attractive to all investors,” he explained.