The naira fell to a new low of 235 to the American dollar in the black market on Thursday, as dollar shortages in the economy persist. According to Aminu Gwadabe, president of Nigeria’s Bureau de Change Association, people were holding on to their dollars to protect themselves against further naira weakness. At the interbank, the naira traded at 196.95 against the dollar.
On its part, the Central Bank says that the parallel market is not as important in determining the exchange rate of the naira, because the dollar volumes are thin compared to the interbank market. A spokesman for the CBN, Ibrahim Mu’azu said, “There is need to de-emphasize the parallel market. How can less that one percent be determinant of the rate?” “Most of those going that way are those that don’t want to be documented.”
Banking giant, Stanbic IBTC said on Thursday that its first-half pre-tax profit fell to N9.53 billion ($47.90 million), down 52 percent from a year ago. Gross earnings also fell 16 percent to N68.29 billion during the six-month period to June 30, according to filings with the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Stanbic IBTC cut its interim dividend to N0.90 per share, from N1.10 last year.