Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The central bank of Bangladesh has sold US$18 million more to two commercial banks directly to meet the growing demand for the greenback in the market, officials said.

“The central bank has sold the US currency to the banks at market rate on Thursday to settle their import payment obligations particularly,” 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) remained unchanged against the US dollar in the inter-bank forex market on the day.

The US dollar was quoted at BDT 80.80 each, unchanged from the previous level, according to the market operators.

The central bank may continue providing such support to the banks in line with the market requirement, the BB official hinted.

The BB 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 $249 million was sold since July 01 of this fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 to the commercial banks as part of its ongoing support, according to the BB’s latest data.

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