Nigeria sells 400 bln naira bills to mop up money market liquidity

Nigeria’s central bank sold about 400 billion naira ($1.27 billion) of Treasury bills on Friday, lifting the interbank lending rate up to 12 percent, traders said.

The bank sold 82 billion naira in 181-day Treasury bills at 18 percent and 309 billion at 18.6 percent, mopping up liquidity from the money market and pushing up the cost of borrowing among commercial lenders.

“We have some major placers quoting about 20 percent for overnight placement, but most takers are not willing to borrow at that rate,” one dealer said, adding that the rate eventually settled around between 10 percent and 12 percent at 1328 GMT.

Markets had opened on Thursday with a surplus liquidity of about 467 billion naira due to an injection of matured Treasury bills until the central bank later debited banks for the purchases of 302.4 billion in primary market Treasury bills.

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