Nigeria central bank to hold policy meeting in Feb, first since July

(Corrects MPC date to Feb. 26, not 25 in paragraph 2)

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s central bank will hold its next interest rate meeting in February – the first since last July – according to a schedule released on Friday.

In a statement published on its website, the Central Bank of Nigeria has tentatively scheduled the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) for Feb. 26 and 27, the first meeting under new Governor Olayemi Cardoso.

The naira has slid steadily against the dollar, fuelled by ongoing liquidity shortages that have seen the naira swing wildly in official trading. It has dropped to around 1,350 to the dollar on the parallel market.

Investors are awaiting the MPC’s guidance on interest rates, with analysts divided on the likely direction. At its last meeting in July, the central bank opted for a smaller-than-expected rate hike of 25 basis points

The schedule lists six MPC meetings for the year, including in the last weeks of March, May, July, September and November.

(This story has been corrected to fix the MPC date to Feb. 26, not Feb. 25, in paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Elisha Bala-Gbogbo; Editing by Hugh Lawson)