Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladeshis expatriates sent home a record US$9.68 billion in the fiscal ended on June 30, as remittance continued to rise despite the global meltdown, officials said on Sunday.

The amount is 22.32 percent higher than what the country’s more than six million workers remitted in the previous 2007-2008 fiscal year, they added.

“We’re taking more steps to increase the flow of inward remittance. We hope the flow will maintain its bullish trend because of our continuous efforts,” Senior Executive Director of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, A.T.M. Nasir Uddin told BBN in Dhaka.

The flow of remittance in fiscal 2008-09 (FY09) was a continuation of the trend in the last fiscal year when the country received a record $7.91 billion. The growth in 2007-08 was 32.39 per cent over the previous fiscal.

The remittance figure in June also hit a new high at $911.61 million — the first time it crossed $900 million mark — up $16.31 million from the previous month, according to the central bank statistics, released Sunday.

Four state-owned commercial banks and some private commercial banks have also stepped up efforts to increase the flow of remittances from the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy and the United States.

“We are establishing new contacts with overseas exchange houses so that our overseas workers can find it easy to send money back home,” Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Janata Bank Limited S. M. Aminur Rahman said.

The country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at an all time high at $7.42 billion on the day, thanks to a record monthly inflow of $911.61 million in June, the BB officials said.

The foreign exchange reserve also broke new ground Sunday but it would come down slightly as the central bank is set to pay around $468 million to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) in a day or two, the officials confirmed.

The ACU is an arrangement among the central banks of the member countries to settle trade related payments on a multilateral basis. Its members are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-06July09-2:44 am (BST)