Bloomberg News

Nigeria’s Naira Weakens on Importer Demand

October 24, 2012

The naira weakened the most in a week as oil importers boosted demand for dollars and the price of crude, the country’s key export, retreated.

The currency of Africa’s largest oil producer fell less than 0.1 percent to 157.30 per dollar as of 12:15 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, the biggest decline since Oct. 17, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The naira has strengthened 3.2 percent this year, the best performer in Africa.

Nigeria relies on imports to meet 70 percent of its fuel needs because of inadequate refining capacity, according to the Petroleum Ministry. Oil pared gains in New York after a drop in manufacturing data from Germany, Europe’s largest economy, signaled the region’s debt woes may be far from over.

The strengthening of the naira “has been limited because of high dollar demand,” Kunle Ezun and Kenneth Asenime, analysts at Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI) in Lagos, wrote in an e- mailed note to clients today.

Yields on Nigeria’s 16.39 percent debt maturing January 2022 rose five basis points to 13.38 percent, according to yesterday’s data on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website. Rates on the nation’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 fell by four basis points to 4.56 percent today.

Ghana’s cedi strengthened for a fourth day, appreciating 0.1 percent to 1.875 a dollar in Accra, the capital, its strongest since May 9.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emele Onu in Lagos at eonu1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net


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