(Greenwich Merchant Bank): The Fixed Income Market turned bearish following heavy selloffs seen across the bills market. The disdain shown across the medium-long end of the bills market birthed from investors’ expectation of a continued spike in rates at the primary market.
Resultantly, the average yield in the fixed income market spiked by 66bps to close the week at 6.3% from 5.6% in the prior week. Market players flooded the NT-bill secondary market with offers in the expectation of better rates at the scheduled Primary Market Auction (PMA) in the week. Thus, yields on the average across the NT-bill market spiked by 130bps to 2.8% from 1.5% in the prior week. Similarly, the OMO-bill market closed bearish as investors offloaded bills at the head of the curve in favour of newly issued higher-yielding bills from the belly to the tail of the curve. Consequently, the average OMO-bill yield soared by 78bps to 6.8% from 6.0%.
The Apex bank in its scheduled Primary Market Auction (PMA) offered bills worth NGN88.9bn, albeit allotting NGN108.8bn following robust demand by market players. The expanding bid range did not wither, thus forcing the Apex bank to allot 364DTM at 6.50%, 100bps premium over the last PMA while keeping the 91DTM and 182DTM flat at 2.00% and 3.50% respectively. Despite the tighter system liquidity for the week, the bid-to-cover ratio remained elevated settling at 2.2x.
Amidst a tighter liquidity level in the interbank system, average liquidity for the week printed NGN144.6bn vs NGN309.3bn in the prior week. Consequently, Money Market rates remained elevated for the week, albeit lower than the previous week. The Overnight and Open Buy Back rates closed at an average of 13.8% vs 15.8% in the prior trading week.
The Bond Market continued to be bid-driven. We witnessed investors cherry-pick oversold papers across the curve in an act of bargain hunting. As a result, the average bond yield steeped southward by 11bps to 9.3% from 9.4% at the close of trading in the prior week.
The FX market remained volatile following persistent illiquidity. Yet, the Naira appreciated by NGN1.00 at the Investors and Exporter Window (I&EW), closing at NGN410.00/USD from NGN411.00/USD in the prior week. In terms of turnover, the FX market livened by +73.6% WoW at the I&EW to an average of USD92.9mn from USD53.5mn at the prior session. Similarly, the Naira weakened by NGN5.00 in the Parallel Market against the USD to settle at NGN485.00/USD from NGN480.00/USD in the prior week.
In the coming week, we expect the demand for the greenback to linger as market participants look for liquidity to fulfil their obligations. Also, we look forward to continued cherry-picking of papers with higher yield across the bond curve by market players, hinged on a robust interbank system, following expected inflows of NGN142.1bn in coupon payment, maturing OMO-bill worth NGN104.0bn.