External Reserves Drop by $30 Million, As Investors Flee
After weeks of gradual build-up, Nigeria’s external reserves have begun to deplete again, dropping by $30.23 million as foreign investors exit the Nigerian markets.
The reserves had dropped to $27.858 billion within 11 days as at Friday, April 1, 2016 from $27.888 billion which it was on March 21, 2016.
The reserves had gradually risen since early February when it reached $27.894 billion.
Foreign investors repatriating profits and others exiting the Nigeria equities and bond markets had last week triggered a rise in foreign exchange disbursement by some banks.
Many of the investors, after liquidating their investments, secured forex to repatriate their funds through Stanbic IBTC Bank.
The lender disbursed $19,305,571.50 to 68 customers, according to published disbursement data for last week.
JPM London secured $3,331,564.24 from Stanbic IBTC for its divestment of equities and Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds.
There was also $2,010,690.01 disbursed to State Street/Stanbic Nominees-E by the lender for the same purpose.
BP2S/BNP Pribas obtained $130,167.61; Standard Bank of South Africa, $541,671.31; Merrill Lynch International $63, 767.89; HSBC Funds Services London, $394,210.30; and The Bank of New York Mellon 2, $206,317.82.
The foreign investors have been pressurising the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to devalue the naira, which it has vehemently resisted. Last week’s repatriation of investments is expected to continue in the months ahead as the margin between the official exchange rates has continued to widen.