LAGOS, March 16 – Nigeria’s central bank said on Thursday it had sold more treasury bills than originally planned at an auction after it lured demand for one-year debt with yields above inflation.
The bank raised 253.8 billion naira at an auction on Wednesday, 40 billion naira more than it had offered to sell.
It offered the one-year bill at 18.55 percent to raise 166.3 billion naira, against a yield of 18.49 percent at its last auction and higher than February’s inflation rate of 17.78 percent.
The central bank has been selling bills with yields below inflation in recent months to curb borrowing costs as it aims to fund half of this year’s forecast budget deficit of 2.36 trillion naira ($7.50 bln) through the domestic debt market.
Yields on the six-month bill were unchanged from the last sale at 17.20 percent to fetch 48.5 billion naira, while a 39.0 billion naira bill due in three month was sold 13.60 percent against 13.65 percent previously.
Total demand stood at 216.38 billion naira against 312.44 billion naira at the last sale.
On Thursday, the debt office also issued more bonds than it originally planned at an auction after slowing inflation rate helped it offer debt at lower yields.
The central bank issues treasury bills twice a month to finance the government’s budget deficit and help lenders manage liquidity and curb inflation.