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Interbank rates unchanged for second straight week

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Interbank lending rate was unchanged for the second consecutive week at 8.25 percent after a liquidity surge from a central bank’s cash refund to lenders and payment to Treasury bill holders, dealers said.

Dealers said a total of 162 billion naira ($814 million) in matured Open Market Operations (OMO) bills was repaid this week while the central bank credited commercial lenders with 63.5 billion naira, an excess amount it charged to enforce a cash reserve requirement.

The borrowing rate on the interbank climbed to around 20 percent mid-week, dealers said on persistent sales of OMO bills by central bank to mop up liquidity but it eased after the injection of cash into the banking system.

Dealers expect liquidity to fall next week as the state-owned oil firm NNPC, which supplies dollar proceeds of its oil sales to the banking system in exchange for naira, plans to withdraw its deposit with the central bank.

It began to withdraw its cash gradually on Friday, dealers said, adding that the bulk of the impact will be felt next week.

The secured open buy back was unchanged at 8 percent, compared with the benchmark rate of 13 percent, while overnight placement was flat at 8.5 percent.