Lagos - Nigeria sold a total of 126.32 billion naira ($791.35 million) in treasury bills ranging from three months to one year at its bi-monthly auction, with higher yields on the paper than at the previous auction, the central bank said on Friday.
The bank on Thursday sold 30.64 billion naira worth of the 91-day paper at a return of 13.50 percent, up from 13.19 percent at the previous auction.
The 45 billion naira worth of the 182-day paper was issued at 14.14 percent, compared with 13.87 percent at the previous auction, while the bank issued 50.68 billion naira worth of 1-year paper at a return of 13.30 percent, lower than the 13.94 percent at an auction on April 10.
Total subscriptions stood at 307.28 billion naira, a sharp drop from 513.42 billion naira demanded at the last auction, reflecting declining interest by offshore investors in short-dated debt instruments, traders said.
High inflation and the declining value of the local currency is leading offshore investors to sell down their local debt holdings and repatriate the funds, putting further pressure on the local currency, dealers told Reuters.
Nigeria issues treasury bills regularly to reduce the money supply, curb inflation and help lenders manage their liquidity.