Business Hilights
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No rising industrial productivity to match appreciating naira at black markets

Financial pundits Thursday continued in their suspicion that the prevailing naira appreciation remain cosmetic as far as it has not translated to rising industrial activities even though manufacturers have reduced their complains over poor forex access.

Currency observers say industrialists are still apprehensive to rely on the apparent forex ease to jerk up manufacturing over fears on a tumble that may ignite uncontrollable scarcity of forex.

However, for the first time since October, the dollar fell below the psychological N400 barrier, when the greenback traded at N399 to the dollar in Lagos and exchanged at N395 in Abuja, lower than N410 at which it traded on Tuesday.

With the gains made by the local currency in the last five weeks, the naira inched closer to one of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) key foreign exchange policy objectives of an exchange rate convergence.

The naira trades for N375 to the greenback for invisibles and at N307 to the dollar on the FX interbank market, the official window for manufacturers and importers of raw materials eligible to buy FX from this segment of the market.

The last time the naira traded at between N395 and N400 to the dollar on the parallel market was in August 2016.

The significant gains made by the naira on the parallel market, according to market analysts, was a reflection of the improved confidence in the FX market, following the sustained dollar interventions by the CBN since last month.

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