US Dollar File photo

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh has sold US$6.0 million to Rupali Bank Limited directly to meet the growing demand for the greenback in the market, officials said.

“We’ve sold the US dollars to the public banks at market rate on Wednesday to settle their import payment obligations practically for food grains,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the BBN in Dhaka.

He also said the central bank may provide such foreign currency support to the banks in line with the market requirement.

The US dollar was quoted at BDT 80.77 in the inter-bank foreign exchange market on the day against BDT 80.75 of the previous working day, market operators said.

The central bank recently resumed intervention in the foreign exchange market through selling the US dollar to the commercial banks directly to keep the market stable.

As part of the move, the central bank sold $20 million to the banks in August this year, the according to the central bank’s confidential report.

The central bank of Bangladesh sold a total of US$ 74 million, equivalent to BDT 5.96 billion, since July 01 of the ongoing fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 to the commercial banks as part of its ongoing market intervention.

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

The country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at $32. 84 billion on September 20 last despite selling of $6.0 million to the public banks for settling import payment bills.

Talking to BBN, a senior treasury official of a leading private commercial bank said the demand for the US dollar is increasing gradually mainly due to higher import payment pressures particularly for capital machinery, petroleum products, consumer items and scrap vessels.