Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s foreign exchange (forex) reserve has crossed the US$11.50 billion-mark for the first time Thursday, thanks to a robust growth of inward remittance as well as decreasing import payment, officials said.
“The country’s forex reserve crossed the $11.50 billion-mark, for the first time,  following higher growth of inward remittance, lower import payment pressure, and rising trend of export proceed realization,” a senior official of Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.
The forex reserve reached $11.53 billion on the day, setting a new record, from $11.43 billion of the previous day, according to the central bank statistics.
The central bank has continued purchasing the US dollar from the commercial banks directly, which has also contributed to increase the forex reserve in the recent days.
“The central bank has accelerated our intervention in the market to protect the interest of exporters and migrant workers through keeping the exchange rate of local currency against the greenback stable,” the BB official noted.
As part of the move, the central bank on Thursday bought $70 million from three private commercial banks at market rate to keep the inter-bank foreign exchange market stable.
The US dollar was quoted at BDT 81.25- BDT 81.27 in the inter-bank foreign exchange market on the day against BDT 81.25-BDT 81.30 of the previous working day, the BB data showed.
“We may continue such intervention until the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha festival to keep the market stable through offsetting the rising trend of foreign currency supply,” the central banker said.
A total of $1.213 billion was bought from the commercial banks, so far, in the current fiscal year (2012-13) as part of the central bank’s intervention in the market, according to the BB officials.
The country received $203.09 million as remittance between October 1 and October 5 from Bangladeshi nationals working abroad, another BB official said.
“We expect that the remittance inflow may cross $1.20 billion by the end of this month,” he said, adding that the central bank is continuously working to help boost the flow of inward remittance.
On the other hand, the declining trend of overall import has continued in the recent months, as the central bank maintains a ‘cautious’ monetary policy to contain the inflationary pressure on the economy.
Opening of letters of credit (LCs) against import, generally known as import orders, decreased by over 13 percent to $2.488 billion in August from $2.865 billion of the previous month, according to the central bank statistics.
However, the settlement of LCs, generally known as actual import, also dropped by more than 12 per cent to $2.482 billion in August from $2.836 billion of the previous month.
The country’s overall export grew by 2.07 per cent to $6.29 billion during the first three months of the FY13 despite the global economic meltdown particularly in the European Union and the United States.
BBN/SSR/AD-12Oct12-12:30 pm (BST)