In a bid to ease the foreign exchange (forex) scarcity in the country, history is set to be made today as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) finally commences the much-awaited market-driven flexible exchange rate regime nationwide.
This is coming on the heels of various endorsements given to the policy by financial analysts who see it as the final solution to the volatility in the forex market, as indications have emerged that the apex bank has thrown the door open to other banks to participate, even if they do not meet the criteria as a systemically important banks.
The CBN had specified in the initial guidelines that those to serve as the bulk traders, dealing directly with CBN, would have 40 per cent liquidity ratio, N200 billion shareholders’ funds and N400 billion foreign currency assets for qualification as Foreign Exchange Primary Dealer (FXPD).
The reviewed guidelines state: “In order to further deepen the FX market, the Central Bank of Nigeria has decided to allow any Authorised Dealer who is interested in acting as a Foreign Exchange Primary Dealer (FXPD) to apply even if the said Authorised Dealer did not meet the quantitative criteria stated in the CBN Guidelines for Primary Dealership in Foreign Exchange Products released on June 15, 2016.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria shall evaluate all the first set of registered FXPDs by December 31, 2016. The evaluation shall cover both quantitative and qualitative Foreign Currency Balance Sheet, adequacy of Pre-Settlement Risk (PSR) lines for other Authorised Dealers, etc. Please note also that the performance and market conduct of the FXPDs in their dealings with the CBN shall be a major factor in the said evaluation.”
The first Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers(CIS), Dapo Adekoje, while appraising the new policy, assured investors that uncertainty, which characterized the investment climate, would soon disappear completely.
According to him, the new policy had been endorsed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and there are strong indications that the new development would enhance efficiency in the management of the exchange rate with multiplier effect on the capital market.
Oluwaseyi Abe, the President of the institute, explained that the coast is now clear for the investors to shore-up their holdings. “I feel it is even the best time to invest in the capital market because the economy is now on the steady path of rebound”, Abe said.
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