Nigerian interbank rates ease slightly on OMO maturities

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigerian interbank lending rates eased slightly to an average of 10.5 percent week-on-week on Friday, compared with 10.75 percent last week, supported by ample naira liquidity from matured open market operations (OMO) bills and government bonds.

Traders said about 330 billion naira in OMO bills and government bonds matured this week. The central bank sold 127 billion naira in fresh OMO bills to curb some of that liquidity, but it was not enough to prop up rates.

"The market is very liquid ... and this should continue to keep rates at the prevailing level," one dealer said, adding that the central bank may issue more OMO bills next week.

The market opened with a cash balance of about 475.58 billion naira on Friday, compared with 283 billion naira on Monday.

The open buy back (OBB) closed at 10.25 percent on Friday, compared with 10.5 percent last week and 1.75 percentage points below the central bank's benchmark interest rate of 12 percent.

Overnight placement closed at 10.5 percent on Friday, as against 10.75 percent last week.

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