Financial expert commends CBN’s decision on forex policy

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The Managing Director of the Cowry Asset Management, Mr Johnson Chukwu, on Wednesday, commended the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) decision to recognise the interbank market as the only channel for foreign exchange supply to the economy.

Chukwu said in statement issued by the company in Lagos that the bank’s decision would allow the forex market rates to be determined by the forces of demand and supply.

He said that the CBN’ s decision implied that there would be removal of fixed exchange rates.

The News Agency for Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the CBN said it would allow the Naira exchange rate to be market-driven, setting the stage for a devaluation of the currency when the new system comes into effect on June 20.

It also said it would select a group of around 10 primary dealers through which the Naira would be traded.

The financial expert also said the regulator’s foreign exchange policy would help to stabilise the market as the bank would come to periodically intervene in the market as a major supplier of forex.

Chukwu said, “The CBN, therefore, will operate as a market participant where it will either buy or sell at the prevailing market rate.

“These should now be attractive to investors as their earlier fears of foreign exchange illiquidity or scarcity and likely devaluation would have been mitigated.’’

The managing director added that the introduction of derivatives such as customised forward contracts should help investors’ further hedge against foreign exchange volatility.

He also added that it would simultaneously be a major step towards developing an important alternative asset market.

He said, “Furthermore, forex primary dealers will be registered to deal directly with the CBN for large ticket transactions which could favour large manufacturers as well as foreign direct investors.

“The primary dealers are expected to break the bulk to other authorised dealers.

“This should help boost financing of economic activities in the country.’’

Chukwu said the removal of controls on non oil exporters’ proceeds and the allowed participation of non oil exporters in the interbank market should indirectly help spur activity of out bound transactions.

He believed that the spur would thereby increase economic output .

“We applaud the new foreign exchange policy stance and view it as complementary to positive developments in the external sector such as the increase in global crude oil prices.

“The policies are bound to reduce uncertainty in the markets and could help reduce pressure on the foreign exchange reserves,’’ he added.(NAN)

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