LAGOS, July 21 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s central bank offered six-and 12-month treasuries at yields higher than the country’s inflation rate on Friday to lure yield-hungry investors and attract dollar inflows, traders said.
Severe dollar shortages have been a hallmark of Nigeria’s recession, now in its second year. The downturn was brought on mainly by lower prices for oil, the government’s largest source of income, mostly paid for in hard currency.
The central bank sold a total of 204.96 billion naira ($650.67 mln) in bills at the auction on Wednesday. It paid 17.39 percent for the six-month bill and 18.54 percent for the one-year paper. The bank’s three-month bill fetched 13.42 percent.
Annual inflation eased to 16.1 percent in June.
Most analysts expect the central bank to keep its key interest rate on hold next Tuesday at 14 percent.
The bank sold 145.96 billion naira of the 12-month bill, 26.60 billion naira of six-month paper and 32.40 billion naira of three-month paper.
Nigeria’s central bank issues treasury bills twice a month to finance the government’s budget deficit, help manage commercial lenders’ liquidity and curb rising inflation. ($1 = 315 naira) (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Chijioke Ohuocha)