By Chijioke Ohuocha

 

 

Lagos (Reuters) – The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday disclosed that the value of capital imported into Nigeria rose 29.9 percent in the fourth quarter to $5.32 billion, as economic activity gathered pace after the first recession in a quarter century.

 

 

 

Capital imports stood at $12.2 billion for 2017, up from $5.38 billion previous year, the NBS said.

 

 

 

Nigeria’s economy climbed 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter to return to growth as oil revenues rose. The central bank has been injecting dollars into the forex market to support the naira and the economy.

 

 

 

Capital imports were over $4 billion in the third quarter, the first such quarterly rise since 2015. The rise was driven by portfolio and other investments, the NBS said in a report.

 

 

 

Portfolio investment accounted for the largest amount of capital imported in Q4 2017, driven by strong growth in money market instruments, the statistics office said.

 

 

 

Yields on treasury bills have traded as high as 18 percent in the past. But the government has been working to lower its borrowing cost by repaying matured bills rather than rolling them over as it has done in the past. Bills now trade at rates of around 13 percent.

 

(Edited by Peter Graff)

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