Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The central bank of Bangladesh has sold $19 million more to two commercial banks directly to meet the growing demand for the greenback in the market, officials said.

“We’ve 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) told BBN in Dhaka.

The banks, which purchased the greenback from the BB, are Rupali Bank Limited and Al-Arafa Islami Bank Limited.

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 banker also said the BB may continue providing such support to the banks in line with the market requirement.

The central bank of Bangladesh recently resumed providing the foreign exchange support through selling of the US dollar to the banks directly to keep the market stable.

Earlier on Thursday last, the central bank sold $14 million to two banks on the same ground.

The BB sold a total of $163 million since July 01 of this fiscal year, 2017-18, to the commercial banks as part of its ongoing support.

The central bank had sold the US dollar to the banks for making their import payments against petroleum products and food grains.

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