CBN says banks’ foreign assets rise to N14.19 trillion in 2019

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that banks’ net foreign assets rose slightly to N14.19 trillion as of the end of November 2019. The apex bank disclosed in its economic report for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The report stated that the foreign assets grew by 2.0% in November 2019, compared to the corresponding period of 2018 when it recorded a 2.2% decline.

“Foreign assets (net) of the banking system grew by 2.0% to N14.19tn at end-November 2019, in contrast to the 24.7% and 2.2% decline at the end of third quarter 2019 and fourth quarter of 2018 respectively.”

It was explained that the rise was experienced as a result of the increase in foreign asset holdings of the banking system. The net foreign assets of the banking system, however, fell by 22.8% at the end of November 2019, compared with the decline of 24.4% at the end of the third quarter of 2019. This contrasted an increase of 18.5% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“At end-November 2019, other assets (net) of the banking system rose by 10.6% to negative N13.22 trillion, compared with 6.9% and 12.2% increase at the end of third quarter 2019 and fourth quarter of 2018 respectively,” the report disclosed.

It was added that the growth was due to the decrease in unclassified assets of the CBN and commercial banks.

Also, the report said over the level at end-December 2018, other assets (net) of the banking system fell by 4.9% at end-November 2019, compared with the 17.4% decline at the end of third quarter 2019.

Meanwhile, the CBN yesterday, released new revised supervisory and regulatory guidelines that increase the minimum capital and stipulate sanctions for Microfinance Banks that divest from their approved business. The revised supervisory and regulatory guidelines stipulate that any bank that operates outside its approved business would be fined the sum of N500,000 and such will forfeit its estimated profit.

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