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Nigerian central bank to introduce stricter regulation in Q2

The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to introduce tougher bank capital regulations in the second quarter to increase banks' level of regulatory capital and asset quality as a hedge against local and foreign "shocks," Bloomberg News reported.

The new measures will determine what funding can qualify as capital and will obligate lenders to create "capital conservation" and countercyclical buffers, the central bank told Bloomberg.

The Nigerian watchdog is aligning itself with the Basel III regulatory framework in 2019, having delayed it previously due to a contraction in the country's economy, the newswire reported.

The regulator migrated local banks to the IFRS 9 accounting standard in 2018 to improve disclosures which resulted in the banking industry's capital adequacy ratio increasing to 12.1% in June 2018 from 10.2% at 2017-end. However, the transition removed nearly 200 basis points off of some companies' capital bases, the newswire added.

Difficulty in raising capital has already led to one merger in Nigeria.