Nigeria: Commercial banks record higher foreign currency deposits

Foreign currency deposits in Nigerian commercial banks reached 5,542 billion naira, equivalent to 15.3 billion USD at the end of December 2018.

According to the rating agency Moody’s, this increase « will boost liquidity and foreign currency financing in the perspective of future bond repayments and the occurrence of possible external shocks ». It is 27% compared to the end of 2017 when foreign currency deposits were 11 billion USD. The record level was reached in November 2014 ($ 25 billion).

In addition, Moody’s believes that the positive effect of growth in foreign currency deposits only partially mitigates the risks associated with the activities of Nigerian banks in international currencies. This, in particular due to the still low quality of the assets of banks’ foreign currency loan portfolios.


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