CBN creates Forex window for importers and exporters

Two weeks after opening a special Forex window for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the  Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday, established a Forex widow for investors and exporters.

The ‎Bank’s Director in charge of Financial Markets, Dr Alvan Ikoku,in a circular, said the purpose of the window was to boost liquidity in the forex market and ensure timely execution and settlement of eligible transactions.

Ikoku listed eligible transactions under the new window to include invisible transactions such as loan repayments, loan interest payments, Dividends, Income Remittances, Capital Repatriation, Management Service Fees and Consultancy fees.

Also on the eligible list are Software subscription fees, Technology Transfer Agreements, Personal Home Remittances and other eligible transactions including ‘miscellaneous Payments’ as detailed under Memorandum 15 of the CBN Foreign Exchange Manual.

Ikoku said the invisible transactions under this window excluded international airlines ticket sales’ remittances.

He said that the window covered Bills for Collection and any other trade-related payment obligations, which are at the instance of the customer.

Ikoku further clarified that the permitted invisible transactions and Bills for Collection were eligible to purchase foreign currency sourced from the CBN Forex window limited to Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) Wholesale, that is Spot and Forwards sales.

international airlines ticket sales’ remittances shall only be eligible to access the CBN FX window (SMIS-Retail and Wholesale)spot and forwards.

“The supply of foreign currency to the window shall be through portfolio investors, exporters, authorised dealers and other parties with foreign currency to exchange to Naira.”

The CBN shall also be a market participant at the window to promote liquidity and professional market conduct,” he said. ‎

The CBN said participants at the new window would trade via telephone until appreciable progress is made with the FX trading systems on-boarding process, which is the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange (FMDQ) Thomson Reuters FX Trading & Auction Systems.

Ikoku advised authorised dealers to promote market transparency by encouraging their corporate clients to ensure the activities of the window are operated on the forex trading systems.‎

As part of the operational requirements of the window, Ikoku said the exchange rates of the transactions in the window shall be as agreed between authorised dealers and their counterparties.

He also said that the CBN reserved the right to intervene as a buyer or seller, as it deems fit, in the window, adding that information on transactions between authorised dealers would be reported to the CBN on a daily basis.

It will be recalled that the CBN had injected over 380 million dollars into several segment of the foreign exchange market this week alone with hope of improving FX liquidity in the market and firm up the value of the Naira.

NAN/Ime N