Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s foreign exchange (forex) reserve crossed the US$12 billion-mark for the first time on Thursday, thanks to a robust growth of inward remittance as well as decreasing import payment, officials said.
“The forex reserve has crossed the $12 billion-mark, following higher growth of inward remittance, lower import payment pressure, receiving funds by two mobile phone operators, and rising trend of export proceed realisation ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha festival,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, said.
The reserve rose to $12.03 billion on the day, setting a new record, from $11.89 billion of the previous day, according to the central bank statistics.
The BB official also said the country will be able to settle over four months’ import bills with the existing forex reserve, which will also help to keep the country’s foreign exchange market stable.
Besides, the BB has continued purchasing the US dollar from the commercial banks directly that contributed to increase the forex reserve in the recent days.
Under the move, the central bank bought $90 million from eight commercial banks at market rate on Thursday to keep the inter-bank foreign exchange market stable.
The US dollar was quoted at BDT 81.22-BDT 81.23 in the inter-bank foreign exchange market on the day against BDT 81.23 of the previous working day, the market operators said.
“The central bank has accelerated its intervention in the market recently to protect the interest of exporters and migrant workers through keeping the exchange rate of local currency against the US dollar stable,” the BB official said.
A total of $1.535 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.
The central banker also said the BB may continue such intervention until the upcoming Eid festival to keep the market stable through offsetting the rising trend of foreign currency supply.
Bangladesh received $593.42 million as remittance between October 01 and October 12 from its nationals working abroad, another BB official said.
The country received $3.552 billion during the July-September period of the current fiscal, marking a 19.47 per cent growth over the same period of the previous fiscal.
The declining trend of overall import has continued in the recent months, as the central bank maintains a ‘restrained’ 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 per cent to $2.488 billion in August from $2.865 billion of the previous month.
On the other hand, 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.
BBN/SSR/AD-19Oct12-4:02 pm (BST)