Nigerian economy good looking to investors, says IMF

(FILES): This April 5, 2007 file photo shows the International Monetary Fund logo at IMF headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. The IMF announced November 2, 2009 the sale of 200 tonnes of gold to India's central bank, nearly half the amount targeted for sale over the coming years to shore up IMF finances. The total sales proceeds are equivalent to 6.7 billion dollars, the IMF said. AFP PHOTO / Files / TIM SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Local  Economy

Thursday, December 14,2017

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday that Nigeria was still on international investors’ radar despite currency controls being implemented in the country. It however, said worries about repatriating funds out of Nigeria following currency controls last year still dominates investor fears.

Miriam Tamene, an IMF senior financial sector expert, said there is interest in Nigeria’s securities market. However, investors were being careful because fears of getting trapped still exist.

Nigeria introduced capital controls following dollar shortages triggered by a currency crisis last year. The naira hit a record of 520 to the dollar, prompting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to restrict fund flows.

In April the bank liberalised the market to allow investors trade the naira at market-determined rates in a bid to attract inflows into debt and stock markets.

he stock market has gained 45 per cent so far this year, helped by demand for consumer goods and banking shares after the central bank lifted currency restrictions for investors.

Tamene’s comments came after her team visited Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of consultations on developments covering the economy. The report of the consultation will presented

to IMF board in February.

“Investors are interested in Nigeria, but with difficulties they had in getting their money out recently, that confidence is not there yet,” Tamene said in a statement released by the SEC.

Nigeria’s currency market for investors has traded $22.37 billion since it was launched, according to market operator FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange

On Wednesday traders said some foreign investors were booking profits from treasury bills and bidding to repatriate funds abroad, creating a liquidity squeeze on the currency market, after debt yields fell.