Nigerian Treasury Bills plunge to 3.39% per annum

The latest data from the Treasury bill auctions concluded recently shows that Nigeria’s 364-day tenor fell to 3.39%. On the other hand, Stop rates printed lower for the 91-day tenor at 1.789% and 182-day tenor, which went for 1.91%.

At the Treasury bill auction, the Debt Management Office sold N10 billion on the 91-day paper, N20 billion on the 182-day, and N58.857 billion on the 364-day bills.

Ladi Belo a treasury analyst at a Nigerian tier-1 bank told Nairametrics in a phone chat interview, commented on the treasury auction. He said;

“At the NTB auction that was conducted yesterday, we witnessed significant demand, especially on the new 1-Yr bill. This is still because of the exclusion of local corporates and retail investors from investing in Omo bills. As a result, the stop rates across board closed lower than the preceding auction at 1.789%, 1.91%, and 3.39% on the short, medium, and long-tenures papers, respectively. I expect these rates to go down further in the secondary market as market players try and fill their unmet demand.”

Quick facts: The massive disparity between the subscriptions and the offers recorded suggests investors are willing to earn a negative real return, compared to the higher risk in other assets such as stocks and real estate.

Basically, the CBN sells T-bills on a bi-weekly basis to investors and it is one of the safest investments available. Interests are paid upfront, with the principal paid in full upon maturity.

Understanding Treasury Bills: Basically, when the government goes to the financial market to raise money, it can do it by issuing two types of debt instruments – treasury bills and government bonds.

Treasury bills are issued when the government needs money for a short period, while bonds are issued when it needs debt for more than, say five years. The issuance of treasury bills is also used as a mechanism to control the circulation of funds in the economy.

Treasury bills have a face value of a certain amount, which is what they are actually worth. However, they are sold for less. For example, a bill may be worth N10,000, but you would buy it for N9,600. Every bill has a specified maturity date, which is when you receive the money back.

The government then pays you the full price of the bill (in this case N10,000), giving you the opportunity to earn N400 from your investment. The amount that you earn is considered as the interest, or your payment for lending your money to the government. The difference between the value of the bill and the amount you pay for it is called the discount rate and is set as a percentage.



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