NIGERIAN interbank lending rate climbed to an average of 15 percent on Friday from 8.25 percent last week as cash flowed out of the banking system to settle bonds and treasury-bill purchases.
The central bank sold a total of 235.49 billion Nigerian naira worth in both treasury bills and bonds this week, draining the system of liquidity and pushed up the cost of borrowing among commercial lenders.
Traders said interbank rates initially rose to about 20 percent because of tight liquidity, but fell when the central bank refunded 27.7 billion naira in excess amounts it had charged to enforce a cash reserve requirement.
Nigerian banks are required to deposit 31 percent of their customer’s deposits with the central bank on zero interest as part of measures to curb excess liquidity in the banking system.
“We expect rates to inch up again next week on further reduction in market liquidity unless portion of budget allocations to government agencies is injected into the system,” one trader said.
Market liquidity opened with a cash balance of N153 billion on Friday, traders said, but was expected to decline to around N50 billion on Monday because of debit for bonds purchase.
Both the secured open buy back, OBB, and overnight placement closed at 15 percent on Friday. OBB was 8 percent, compared with the benchmark rate of 13 percent. Overnight placement was at 8.5 percent in the previous week.