Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s foreign exchange (forex) reserve crossed the US$31 billion-mark for the first time on Wednesday following higher export earnings and lower import payment pressures on the economy, officials said.
The forex reserve reached at $31. 16 billion on the day, setting a new record, from $30.98 billion of the previous working day. It was $30.001 billion on June 27 last.
“Our forex reserve has crossed the $31 billion-mark mainly due to higher realisation of export proceeds by the exporters and upward trend of inward remittance before the Eid-ul-Azaha,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka on Wednesday night.
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.
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 nearly 941 million as remittances between August 1 and August 26 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 has already intensified purchase of the US dollar from banks aiming to keep the inter-bank foreign exchange market stable ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha.
As part of the move, the BB bought US$145 million from three commercial banks on Wednesday directly to protect the interests of exporters and migrant workers by keeping the exchange rate of local currency against the greenback stable.
On Tuesday, the central bank similarly purchased $45 million from three banks on the same ground.
A total of $951 million was bought from the commercial banks between July 11 and August 31 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.