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Nigeria’s Naira Climbs on Inflows Into Central Bank T-Bill Sale

The naira climbed against the dollar after foreign inflows into a central bank Treasury bill sale, with demand for the debt more than double the amount sold.

The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer rose 0.1 percent to 156.2 a dollar as of 2:34 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital. The naira advanced 3.9 percent last year, the strongest performance of African currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

T-bill yields fell to the lowest in 15 months at an auction yesterday, the Central Bank of Nigeria said in an e-mailed statement today, as bids were more than double the amount on sale amid speculation that inflation and interest rates will retreat this year.

The naira is being supported “by inflows into government securities,” Olukunle Ezun, a fixed-income and currencies analyst at Ecobank Transnational Inc. in Lagos, said by phone today. “We have also seen inflows come in from oil majors” this week, he said.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose for a second month in November to 12.3 percent from 11.7 percent, as the worst floods in decades cut farming output, the National Bureau of Statistics said Dec. 17. The impact of the floods will probably boost inflation before price pressures begin easing early this year, central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said on Nov. 20, after leaving the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 12 percent.

Yields on 10-year naira debt fell three basis points to 11.38 percent in the secondary market, according to yesterday’s prices compiled on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website. Borrowing costs on the nation’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 declined one basis point to 3.81 percent today.

Ghana’s cedi gained 0.1 percent to 1.8845 per dollar in Accra, the capital.

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