Yields Rise at Nigerian Bond Auction

Nigeria raised 110 billion naira ($360 mln) at rates higher than at its previous bond auction, the debt office said on Thursday, days after its central bank cancelled a meeting to set interest rates due to a lack of quorum.

The Debt Management Office sold 45.12 billion naira in 5-year debt on Wednesday at 13.38 percent and auctioned 64.88 billion naira of 10-year bonds at 13.49 percent, higher than 13.19 percent and 13.21 percent respectively it fetched at the last auction.

The total subscription at the sale was 150 billion naira.

The central bank said on Monday it would not hold a meeting to fix interest rates due to its inability to form a quorum and maintained benchmark rates at 14 percent, a level it has kept them at for over a year.

Traders said investors bought bonds at higher yields at the auction to hedge against a possible rate cut later in the year, as inflation continues to decline, fuelling speculation about the outlook for official interest rates.

Investors bid as high as 14.50 percent for the notes. However, the government has been offering debt at lower yields to track declining inflation, which fell for the eleventh month in December to 15.37 percent.