Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The central bank of Bangladesh has sold US$16 million more to three commercial banks directly to meet the growing demand for the greenback in the market.

“The central bank has sold the US currency to the banks at market rate on Tuesday to settle their import payment obligations,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told BBN in Dhaka.

However, the exchange rate of Bangladesh Taka (BDT) depreciated slightly against the US dollar on the day mainly due to higher demand for the greenback in the market.

The US dollar was quoted at BDT 80.90 each on Tuesday against BDT 80.86-BDT 80.87 of the previous working day, according to the market operators.

The central bank may continue providing such support to the banks for ensuring the market stability, the BB official hinted.

The central bank has resumed providing the foreign exchange support in the recent months through selling of the US currency to the banks directly to keep the market stable.

A total of $314 million was sold since July 01 of this fiscal year, 2017-18, to the commercial banks as part of its ongoing support, according to BB’s latest data.

The market operators said the demand for the US dollar is gradually increasing, mainly due to higher import payments pressure, particularly of capital machinery, petroleum products and consumer items including food grains.