Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh sold US$2.31 billion to the scheduled banks directly in the just-concluded fiscal year to keep the market stable.

“We’ve sold the foreign currency to the banks to meet the growing demand for the greenback in the market during the period under review,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the BBN in Dhaka.

The banks are forced to buy the greenback from the central bank mainly due to mismatch between demand and supply of the US dollar in the market in the recent months, according to market insiders.

Higher import payments against lower export receipts have created such mismatch in the market, they explained.

The country’s overall imports increased significantly due to higher import of consumer goods including food-grains, petroleum products and capital machinery.

On the other hand, the central bank had 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.

As part of the moves, the provided a US$2.311 billion foreign currency support to the banks to settle import payment bills. It was $175 million in FY 17.