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Banking system’s net foreign assets rose to N8.891trn in Dec

Stories by Amaka Ifeakandu Lagos

Net foreign assets of the banking system rose to N8.891 trillion at the end of December 2016. This represents an increase of 57.27 per cent compared with the 25.7 per cent growth recorded at endJune 2016, in contrast to a decline of 18.7 per cent at the end of the corresponding period of 2015.

The Central Bank of Nigeria recent report said that development reflected significant growth in foreign assets of the CBN which grew by 53.9 per cent relative to its level at end December 2015. The report said that the provisional cumulative inflow of foreign exchange into the economy, stood at $33.02 billion, anincrease of 13.3 per cent above the level in the first half of 2016.

The apex bank said that off this amount, inflow through autonomous sources accounted for 62.3 per cent, while inflow through the CBN accounted for 37.7 per cent. It said total foreign exchange outflow from the economy grew by 14.8 per cent to $13.64 billion from the level in the first half of 2016.

The rise in outflow was mainly attributed to the increase in the interbank forwards settled in the second half of 2016. The economy according to the CBN recorded a net foreign exchange inflow of $19.38 billion, representing 12.21 per cent rise above the level in the first half of 2016 while the total autonomous inflow went up by 0.7 per cent to $20.58 billion, compared to the level in the first six months of 2016 due mainly to rise in invisibles by 2.5 per cent, of which 62.3 per cent was accounted for by ordinary domiciliary accounts.

However, foreign exchange inflow through the CBN surged by 42.9 per cent above the level in the first half of 2016 to $12.45 billion, due to increases in crude oil and non-oil export earnings. Receipts from crude oil sales surged by 22.7 per cent to US$5.66 billion, in the first six months of last year. This is attributable to the gradual increase in domestic production and international crude oil prices. The non-oil receipts rose by 65.5 per cent to US$6.79 billion in the second half of 2016, due mainly to increase in other official receipts. Foreign exchange outflow through the CBN increased by 15.5 per cent to $12.39 billion, above the level in the first half of 2016. Of this amount, interbank utilization accounted for $7.99 billion, of which inter-bank forwards, inter-bank sales and others stood at $4.17 billion or 52.14 per cent , $0.72 billion or 8.92 per cent and $3.11 billion or 38.9 per cent, respectively .

the apex bank stated that the total foreign exchange transactions through the Bank resulted in a net inflow of $0.58 billion in the second half of 2016, compared with a net inflow of $0.96 billion in the corresponding half of 2015. This is, however, in contrast to a net outflow of $2.03 billion in the first half of 2016.

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