The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last year sold $25.136 billion at its twice weekly Dutch Auctions having offered $26.85 billion even as the external reserves dropped by 2.25 per cent to $43.61 billion as at December 31, 2013.
The external reserves which opened last year January at $44.337 billion, had peaked at $48.857 billion as at June 2, 2013 before it began its slide to $43.5 billion which it was as at January 2, 2014 according to data provided by the apex bank.
The CBN yesterday resumed foreign exchange sales at the twice weekly Retail Dutch Auction after suspending dollar sales for over two weeks. The forex sales suspension had spiked a high demand of the greenback as the naira weakened to N159 to the dollar at the interbank and N173 to the dollar at the parallel market.
Although analysts say the naira is expected to continue to hover around N160 to the dollar in the next 15 days, barring any significant interventions by the CBN, the resumption of the RDAS yestreday is expected to ease the demand pressure at the interbank market.
At the interbank, the naira sold at N158.79 to the dollar.