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Naira Advances for Second Week as Foreign Investors Buy Debt

Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s naira advanced against the dollar, heading for its second weekly gain, after inflows into the West African nation’s debt markets.

The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer climbed 0.2 percent to 157.64 a dollar as of 1:01 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, taking its weekly rally to 0.3 percent. The naira has risen 3 percent this year, the best performer in Africa, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Treasury bill yields declined to the lowest in more than three months at a Sept. 5 auction as investors bid for three times the 142.9 billion naira ($905 million) on offer, the central bank said yesterday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. said last month that it is considering adding the West African nation’s debt into its government bond emerging-market index series.

“Strong offshore institutional inflows for naira debt purchases are adding to foreign exchange supply in the interbank market,” Gregory Kronsten, head of economic research at FBN Capital Ltd. in London, wrote in an e-mailed note today. “This has brought exchange-rate stability for now as sought by” the central bank, he wrote.

Nigerian benchmark Bonny Light crude increased 0.7 percent to $114.29 per barrel and has gained 26 percent since a June low this year. The country’s foreign-exchange reserves reached a more than two-year high of $39.2 billion, according to Sept. 3 data compiled by the Abuja-based central bank.

The yield on Nigeria’s 7 percent domestic bonds due October 2019 fell five basis points to 13.82 percent, according to yesterday’s data on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website. Yields on the nation’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 rose less than one basis point to 4.87 percent today.

Ghana’s cedi climbed for a third day, increasing 0.5 percent to 1.9175 a dollar in Accra, the capital.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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