CBN bars individuals and local corporates from buying OMO bills

File photo: Governor Godwin Emefiele during monetary policy committee meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, July 24, 2015.   REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
  • CBN restricts individuals and local corporates from participating in OMO auctions 
  • Angela Sere-Ejembi, Director, Financial Markets Department at CBN, says restriction applies to domestic corporates (inclusive of non-bank financial institutions) both at primary and secondary market activities.

Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) has directed deposit money banks to exclude individuals and domestic corporates from participating in its Open Market Operations.

Open Market Operations (OMO) is a financial instrument used by the Central Bank to sell treasuries bills and other instruments.

In a circular addressed to Banks on Wednesday, the apex bank said directive affects individuals and local corporates.

Explaining the statement, Angela Sere-Ejembi, Director, Financial Markets Department at CBN, said the restriction applies to domestic corporates (inclusive of non-bank financial institutions) both at primary and secondary market activities.

Investment analyst queries CBN's action

Igho Alonge, an Investment Adviser, criticised the apex bank's action via a Twitter post. 

He queried how only “foreigners would be able to access OMO bills, which by design is a liquidity management tool and shouldn't be offered to foreigners in the first place."

Why is CBN doing this?

Though no reason was given and move unclear, over the years, banks have used the treasury bill market to keep their cash reserves high and make lending become harder.

Last month, the CBN raised the lending ratio to 65% from 60% and also increase cash reserves of default banks. The move, many believed will see banks compete to give out loans to the real sector of the economy.

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