The Nigerian currency was unchanged at 162.95 naira at Monday’s market close, after the regulator asked banks for bids to sell the greenback in a move to quell dollar shortages and support the naira, dealers said.
The local unit opened at 163.05 naira to the U.S. currency, and weakened further to 163.50 naira intraday on strong demand, prompting central bank’s interest.
Dealers said news of the proposed bid made some lenders sell dollars in order to participate as central bank usually sells dollar at a discount to interbank market, helping the naira recover to Friday’s level.
“The central bank called round to get a feel of the market … some banks saw this as a signal that the bank could intervene,” one dealer said.
Dealers said dollar flows has slowed after state-owned energy company NNPC, which accounts for bulk of dollar supply on the interbank sold about $300 million last week, which failed to lift the local currency.