Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s foreign exchange (forex) reserve crossed the US$31 billion-mark again on Tuesday following higher export earnings and lower import payment pressures on the economy, officials said.
The forex reserve rose to $31.09 billion on the day from $30.97 billion of the previous working day. It was $31.16 billion on September 01 last.
“The forex reserve has crossed the $31 billion-mark again following higher realisation of export proceeds by the exporters and upward trend of inward remittance due to the Eid-ul-Azaha festival,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The central banker also said the country will be able to settle more than eight months import bills with the existing forex reserve.
The country’s overall imports decreased in terms of value not quantity following lower prices of commodities particularly petroleum products in the global market, according to the BB official.
Bangladesh’s overall imports dropped by 18.42 per cent to $2.80 billion in July, the first month of the current fiscal year (FY) 2016-17, from $3.44 billion during the same period f the previous fiscal mainly due to lower imports of capital machinery.
He also said stable exchange of the local currency against the US dollar has encouraged the expatriate Bangladeshis to send their hard-earned money to home land that also helps boost the country’s forex reserve.
Bangladesh received more than $605 million as remittances between September 1 and September 16 from Bangladeshi nationals who are working abroad, according to the central bank’s latest statistics.
Besides, purchasing of the US dollar from the commercial banks has contributed to increasing the forex reserve recently, another BB official said.
The central bank had intensified purchase of the US dollar from banks aiming to keep the inter-bank foreign exchange market stable during the Eid-ul-Azha.
As part of the move, the BB bought US$60 million from three commercial banks on Tuesday directly to protect the interests of exporters and migrant workers by keeping the exchange rate of local currency against the greenback stable.
On Monday, the central bank similarly purchased $80 million from six banks on the same ground.
A total of $1.41 billion was bought from the commercial banks between July 11 and September 20 of the current fiscal year (FY) 2016-17 for offsetting the impact of its increased supply to the market, the BB data showed.
“We may continue buying of the US dollar from the banks in line with the market requirement,” the central banker hinted.
The BB bought $4.13 billion from the commercial banks in the last FY. It bought $3.76 billion and $5.15 billion in FY 15 and FY 14 respectively.