Nigerian companies, individuals free to buy treasury bills – CBN

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently revealed that Nigerian companies and individuals are free to participate in the purchase of Nigerian Treasury Bills.

The bank had through a directive contained in a circular titled: “Re: Open Market Operations Auctions,” dated October 24, 2019, and signed by its Director, Financial Markets Department, Dr. Angela Sere-Ejembi Thursday completely prohibited individuals and local firms from investing in both its primary and secondary Open Market Operations (OMO) auctions.

But in a clarification on Thursday, the apex bank explained “OMO Bills Are Different from NT Bills”, adding that members of the public often confuse Open Market Operation (OMO) Bills with the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTBs).

“Whereas the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the issuer of the OMO Bills, the CBN only issues the NTBs on behalf of the Debt Management Office (DMO) on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Also, while OMO Bills are strictly for liquidity management to achieve price stability, NTBs are for financing Federal Government budget requirements.”

It noted that OMO Bills are issued on need basis and at irregular intervals depending on banking system liquidity position while auctions for NTBs are done mostly twice a month strictly based on quarterly advanced or released calendar.

“The tenors for CBN OMO Bills are 7 to 365 days, while those of NTBs are for 91, 182 and 364-day.

“The obligor for the CBN OMO Bills is the CBN, just as the Federal Government of Nigeria is the obligor for NTBs.

“In terms of the type of auction, OMO allows for single bids, where Money Market Dealers can submit only one bid.

“However, multiple bids are allowed under NTBs and Money Market Dealers can submit several bids.

“OMO Bills and NTBs each have their own unique identities, separate from other securities or instruments in the money market.”

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