Bank returns on foreign exchange utilization bought from the Central Bank of Nigeria has shown that it allocated $921,352,549 to 17 commercial banks in the country in March in order to meet the foreign exchange demand of their customers.
The computation, according to Thisday, did not capture total returns of all commercial and merchant banks in country.
Forex allocations in the month of March ranged from fuel, machinery and pharmaceuticals imports, all the way down to school fees and personal travelling allowances.
Allocations for the payment of tuition fees overseas were the most numerous items. Also, other invisibles such as business and personal travel allowances, repatriation of capital, and divestments by foreign portfolio investors from the equities and bond markets accounted for a large chunk of forex purchases, in terms of volume.
Zenith Bank Plc got a total of $102,279,505 from the central bank, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) was allocated $102,565,144, Stanbic IBTC got $100,590,015, while Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria got $69,088,105.
Also, in the month under review, while First City Monument Bank was allocated a total of $64,171,254; First Bank of Nigeria Limited – $79,428,530; Access Bank – $69,149,137; Diamond Bank Plc -$77,911,934; United Bank of Africa Plc (UBA) – $40,930,338 and Union Bank of Nigeria – $47,403,725.
Also, Ecobank Nigeria reported total returns of $44,205,507 in March, Citibank Nigeria Limited – $31,019,298, Fidelity Bank Plc – $42,236,367, Sterling Bank – $21,081,525, Skye Bank Plc – $6,585,134, Wema Bank Plc -$10,554,233 and Unity Bank Plc – $5,303,622.
Diamond Bank recorded the highest allocation of foreign exchange from the CBN, last week’s returns published by the banks have shown.
Diamond Bank with an allotment of $20,084,368 for last week, was followed closely by Stanbic IBTC, which got $19,305,571 to come in second, while GTBank with $16,807,578 held the third slot.
Also, FCMB with $15,903,487 came in fourth last week, while Ecobank Limited which published returns of $15,352,404 occupied the fifth position.
FirstBank, on the other hand, reported returns of $14,903,487 to occupy the sixth place, just as Standard Chartered Bank with $14,629,570 held the seventh, while UBA with $13,551,412 was in the eight slot.
Access Bank with $12,432,960 returns on forex utilisation occupied the ninth position last week, Fidelity Bank came in tenth with $9,263,961.